Jen Kelly is a Welfare Benefits Executive for the RAF Benevolent Fund, in this guest blog, Jen tells us about her role and about the new advice blog.
I've worked as a Welfare Benefits Adviser in the charity sector for around five years, and started working for the Fund in September 2017. This is my first experience of working for a military charity, and my first few months have enhanced my knowledge of the RAF hugely.
My role, as a Welfare Benefits Executive, gives me the opportunity to support both serving RAF personnel and veterans, when their circumstances mean they are faced with navigating the often complicated world of benefits.
The role involves carrying out benefit checks for our beneficiaries, to ensure they are not missing out on any benefits they are entitled to claim. It's particularly rewarding to hear back from those who have successfully claimed the benefits they were entitled to, and to hear about the positive impact this additional money has had on their quality of life.
I also help beneficiaries challenge disability-related benefit decisions, including helping to prepare their case and where possible representing them in person at their appeal tribunal. I work to ensure beneficiaries know about any relevant income maximisation schemes available to them, such as council tax discounts and reductions or help with energy costs, and we have a booklet called Maximising your income and reducing your outgoings which gives an overview of such schemes.
In addition, I work closely with my colleagues across the Welfare Team, and to see first hand the kind of holistic support we, as a charity, can offer. This ranges from financial support in the form of grants and loans, to wellbeing support in the form of friendship groups and bereavement support, to name but a few of the services we offer.
I have gained an in-depth understanding of how complicated the benefits system can be, and the fact that it is ever-changing doesn't make it any easier! With this in mind we will be launching a new advice blog, which will include updates on any benefit changes or any benefit news which might be of interest to you. I’ll be doing the first post around April time, so until then.
By Jen Kelly