Benefits Advisor (Manchester)

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Benefits Advisor (Manchester)

Reference
MA158
Job Type
Full time

We have a new vacancy for a Benefits Adviser to join our Court of Protection team, reporting to the Benefits Expert in our Manchester office.

The purpose of the role is to support the Benefits Expert and advise colleagues and clients with welfare benefits reviews, enquiries and applications.  We welcome applicants from non-legal background including DWP, government and council services, finance etc.

Applicants must have the following experience:

  • Recent and ongoing experience of providing Welfare Benefits advice including DWP, local authority and HMRC administered benefits.
  • Advanced knowledge of Welfare Benefits, able to deal with more complex issues in a system where Universal Credit and legacy benefits coexist.
  • Experience of challenging Welfare Benefit decisions at all levels and preparing legal arguments based on social security legislation and recent case law.
  • Ability to check benefit awards and preform calculations, identifying entitlement to benefits, additional elements, premiums, rates, and backdated payments.
  • Ability to explore and apply welfare benefit regulations to maximise income.
  • Assisting with the completion of health questionnaires and assessing entitlement to disability benefits.

Desirable experience:

  • Knowledge of how compensation claims are treated by the Department for Work and Pensions and local authorities.

The role will be fully office-based initially with the option to discuss remote working after a settling in period. 

The Department & work:

Our Court of Protection (CoP) department is nationally recognised as one of the largest, specialist and most diversified CoP teams in the country. All team members are experts, specialising solely in property and financial affairs CoP work, going above and beyond for their clients. Our team’s sustained growth of both caseload and team size as well as our client and staff retention is testament to our proven level of experience and success. With this comes ample opportunities for new starters’ personal development and progression, as well as gaining exposure to highly varied, interesting and complex CoP work.

The team work with almost all types of vulnerable adults, including those with the most profound injuries or illnesses and significantly reduced life expectancy. This includes mental health illness, learning difficulties age-related degenerative conditions such as dementia, acquired brain injuries, traumatic brain injuries, substance abuse, psychological injury and post-traumatic stress disorder, disabilities as a result of clinical or other negligence, birth injuries such as palsy and other cerebral hypoxia. Our deputy and PI trust appointments range from multifaceted, complex and high value matters- many of our appointments involve estates between £5 to 75 million, numerous pieces of litigation, business interests, complex jurisdictional issues in cross border disputes, financial abuse and reporting to the Court.

The team:

There are four deputies in the team- Megan Christie-Copeland, the Head of CoP department, Andrew Cusworth, an OPG Panel deputy specialising in cross-border, financial abuse and local authority deputyships and both Katherine Smith and Rebecca Brown, deputies specialising in deputyships for children and adults with multi-million-pound, personal injury/clinical negligence compensation awards. Both our COP department and our partners are ranked in both UK Chambers and Legal 500 as a top firm for CoP and we won awards for ‘COP team of the year’ nationally and regionally at the Manchester Legal Awards in 2022.

The department are dedicated members of numerous professional bodies, including; the Society of Trust and Estate (STEP) Practitioners and Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE), Court User Group (CuG), Law Society Private Client Section, the Association of Women Solicitors (AWS), Birmingham Solicitors’ Group (BSG), as well as being a founding member for the Professional Deputies Forum (PDF), and having a founding member, Vice Chair and Strategy and Operations Manager for the Court of Protection Practitioners’ Association (CoPPA).

A snapshot of team members’ feedback about their CoP department is: “Everyone is friendly, supportive and there’s great team camaraderie… Great breadth of knowledge and experience, everyone willing to assist and share their knowledge... Clients are clearly priority and at the forefront of everything the team does… What we have in this team is very special- it’s not the industry norm from the people to the standard of work…Brilliant team to work in…Great work and social life balance…Despite the size of the team we have that close team feeling and team spirit… We’re listened to and supported by the team leaders and managers… Warm and welcoming team ethos… Very open to sharing ideas and receptive to new ways of thinking… Great quality work, no two days are the same…”

Working for JMW  

As well as a rewarding career, JMW offer staff many other opportunities and benefits, including:

  • A minimum of 25 days' annual leave (increasing with length of service) plus office closure between Christmas and New Year
  • A one hour early finish, one Friday a month
  • Two days a year to do charitable work
  • The opportunity to get involved in sports teams, hobby clubs, and social events
  • Access to our Employee Assistance Programme and trained Mental Health First Aiders
  • Annual promotions process open to all staff

More information about our benefits and company culture can be found on the careers home page.

Apply

To apply please send your CV and Cover Letter to recruitment@jmw.co.uk, stating the job reference above.