Improving Lives - Money Advisor
How long have you been a money advisor?
I’ve been in this role since 2006. Previously I worked in supported housing.
Could you explain your job and how you help customers?
Put simply, I’m here to help people with their money. This includes benefit checks to make sure people are receiving what they are entitled to and if they’re not, assisting them to make claims. Sometimes, I make referrals to other services, such as debt advice, social services and occupational therapy. The majority of my work is around Housing Benefit or the impact of Universal Credit as this relates to customers’ rent.
What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?
Definitely being able to help people. It’s very rewarding when I see a customer who was in financial trouble get themselves sorted. I am aware that not everyone is entitled to more money. Often my role is simply to explain how benefits work, signpost to other services for support, or helping with budgeting. However, I am only part of a bigger jigsaw; I believe that people need to be listened to as well as helped.
It’s very rewarding when I see a customer who was in financial trouble get themselves sorted. However, I am only part of a bigger jigsaw; I believe that people need to be listened to as well as helped.
Is there a highlight that you are particularly proud of?
A customer came to me when her husband left her and her five children. Her only income was Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for one of her children. We managed to get her awarded Child Benefit, Child Tax Credits, Housing Benefit and maintenance. She found part-time work, so then began receiving Working Tax Credits and had her Housing Benefit amended. In total, she gained £31,699 in benefits for the year. This was very rewarding as the customer had absolutely nothing when she first came to see me and due to English not being her first language, we had a number of issues to overcome in getting benefits awarded. I’m happy to say that she is now working and getting on with her life.
What would be your advice to customers who are struggling financially?
Talk to me and see if there is any extra help available. There is support out there.