I have been giving advice about benefits for more than 18 years, at Citizens Advice Bureaux, and a Law Centre, in the North West of England. Over that time I have acted as representative for around 2,000 clients, and have represented in person at tribunals at around half of these.
I currently work part-time at a Citizens Advice Bureau in the north-west.
All these jobs needed me to be able to do three things well: understand the rules and procedures, argue cases clearly to the DWP and other government agencies, and guide people through what can be a long and complex process, making sure that they understood what was going on and helping them to make informed choices about their situations.
I have experience of taking cases to the Upper Tribunal (previously the Commissioners) including representing in person. In addition, I have acted on behalf of clients in taking cases to the Office of the Adjudicator, and, via their MPs, to the Parliamentary Ombudsman.
I have also provided formal and informal training to other benefits advisers and have taught social security law at Manchester Metropolitan University. I held supervisor standard for LSC specialist advice in welfare benefits from 2002 to 2013.
I hold the following relevant qualifications:
- Level 3 Award in Education and Training (formerly known as 'PTLLS') (Southport College/Ascentis)
- Level 3 Award in Assessing Competence in the Work Environment (Advice UK/City & Guilds)
My hope is that this site will help me to share this knowledge and experience with people who need it, like you.