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Advice and Benefits
Welfare Rights Service
The Bedford Borough Council has a small team of Welfare
Rights Advisers. They provide advice, support and
information on welfare rights issues to people living in Bedford
The Advisers usually advise through referrals and do not normally
provide direct advice to the public unless they are referred
through a social care worker or other Council staff.
Welfare rights advice
The Welfare Rights Service provides advice on the
whole range of social security benefits, including disability
benefits, pension and tax credits. The Service provides advice and
support to staff across the Borough. Our advisers are able to give
benefits advice to staff to help them to advise and assist their
customers. If a benefit issue is complex or requires
representation, Welfare Rights Advisers can take on case
The Welfare Rights Advisers provide benefits
awareness training for Council staff. The Advisers offer welfare
rights induction programme for new staff to raise awareness of
welfare rights issues and how to make referrals to them The
Advisers are also able to attend team meetings to help with any
issues relating to benefits and welfare rights.
Information and publicity
We produce various information sheets and leaflets.
These are updated every year and available from Advisers.
We have developed the following benefits
checklists which provide an overview of the benefits you may be
entitled to claim. There are also details of who to contact
for further information and advice.
Checklist for carers - updated 2011
Checklist for older people aged 65 plus - updated 2011
Checklist for people under 65 - updated 2011
Where appropriate, the Advisers attend meetings to
give advice on projects and policy discussions, which have a
benefit or welfare rights context.
Other support services
On request, we can give talks on benefit issues to
various groups in the county, for example to pensioners, carers,
and disabled groups.
Take Up Campaigns
The Service is able to assist in local benefit
take-up campaigns, and benefit project work. We welcome working in
partnership with local advice agencies and voluntary groups.
The Welfare Rights Service has its own quality
procedures and is continually seeking to improve. We have been
awarded the Community Legal Services Quality Mark for benefit
advice at specialist level.
We positively welcome feedback from people who use the Service. If
for some reason you are unhappy with the advice you have received
or standard of service then there is a complaints procedure.
Contact the Welfare Rights Service for further details.
Aims of the Welfare Rights Service
The Service aims are to:
- maximise the benefit income for by ensuring that
people receive the benefits that they are entitled
- provide welfare rights advice and support to
Bedford Borough Council officers, Borough Council Services, elected
members, and partner organizations.
- promote access to welfare rights advice across
the Bedford Borough area.