Introduction to benefits

The aim of this course is to give a comprehensive and up to date guide to the social security system. This will enable participants to check, improve and support clients’ claims for benefits. The course is designed to make understanding a complex subject interesting and relevant and is delivered in an informal style. The course will be delivered in the context of the Government’s widely publicised and radical programme of welfare reform, including the latest Welfare Reform Act, and the timetable for the introduction of the new Universal Credit. These are changing times for the benefit system, and by the end of the course your knowledge will have been fully updated.

Objectives
The course is geared to people who have little or outdated knowledge of the benefit system, who need practical skills and a broad understanding.
By the end of the course you will be able to;

  • Understand the criteria for claiming benefits related to disability, such as Employment and Support Allowance (including the transfer of incapacity benefit claimants onto ESA) and Disability Living Allowance
  • Work out what someone ‘needs’ to live on each week, and how that amount can be achieved or improved
  • Understand how benefits interrelate and who administers what
  • Understand how other benefits impact on Housing Benefit
  • Appreciate the nature of the proposals for welfare reform, including the impact of Benefits Capping and Universal Credit

Course Content

  • Benefits overview – what’s available and how everything fits together
  • Disability-related benefits –  including DLA and ESA
  • Means-testing – applicable amounts, capital and income rules
  • Putting it all into context – the principles of the main benefits and how the Internet can help you
  • The timetable of change: rollout of the Welfare Reform Act
  • Guidance for effective working – skills, tools and confidence

Who Should Attend?

New and less experienced advisors who need a basic overview of the benefits system.