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Raising awareness and take up of benefits

Social Policy

Warwickshire Welfare Rights Advice Service has a social policy function, using its experience of the impact of national policies on local users to comment on areas of concern, or proposed changes in legislation or practice.

Thus, we contribute to Government consultation requests across a range of social security-related topics, as well as relevant local consultations.


Tackling policy issues

As well as supporting many local groups we are also part of the Legal Advice Warwickshire (LAW) County Social Policy Group. This group includes all the county CABx, Warwickshire Employment Rights, Warwickshire Trading Standards, Warwickshire Race Equality Partnership, Warwickshire Family Mediation and other LAW partners (http://www.legaladvicewarwickshire.org.uk).

We have recently contributed to a Social Policy report on the impact of the inflexible payment methods of Local Authority Housing Benefit payments that can contribute towards clients getting into arrears with their rent. A copy of this report can be found on the LAW website.

As part of the LAW Social policy Group we continue to contribute to the group's wider social policy work and our overall aim of promoting awareness and take-up of benefits as widely as possible across Warwickshire. We also work particularly closely with the following:

  • The statutory agencies responsible for benefits administration and appeals. This means we are regularly in contact with:
    • The Tribunals Service;
    • The Pension Service;
    • Jobcentre Plus;
    • The Disability and Carers Service;
    • Her Majesties Revenue and Customs (re: Tax Credits);
    • The 5 District/Borough Council Housing and Council Tax Benefit Services (Rugby, Warwick District, Stratford, Nuneaton and Bedworth and North Warwickshire)
  • MPs across the county who often refer cases to us and in return take up policy issues on behalf of our clients.

In addition we have been active in addressing welfare rights needs through:

  • Membership of the Warwickshire Financial Inclusion Partnership (FIP) where we have contributed to the creation of a Warwickshire Financial Inclusion Strategy and in turn helping to promote more joined up working across the county to promote financial inclusion services;
  • Membership of the Warwickshire Compact using this to raise Voluntary and Community Sector issues and concerns;
  • Participating in the Voluntary and Community Sector Forum for Children, Families and Young People's services.

NB: If you were not aware of our role in this or would like further information please e-mail Mark Stanyer at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Please get involved so that it is truly a sector-wide contribution.