Phoenix Futures’ NORCAS Welfare Rights Service has secured approximately £500,000 in welfare benefits for eligible clients since June 2015.
Funded by the Big Lottery Fund, the NORCAS Welfare Rights Service offers assistance to people aged 18 years and over who have been affected by substance misuse in the Norfolk area.
The complexity and rapid change within the benefits system means that many people with complex substance misuse, mental and physical health and housing needs are unable to access benefits for which they are eligible. Following the changes to the benefits system, such as the introduction of Universal Credit payments, people are under considerable pressure to budget and manage the monthly expenditure.
Kate Lawrence, Team Manager at NORCAS, explained: “We are thrilled to reach this milestone. The money secured for clients goes a long way towards an individual’s recovery from substance misuse and the related challenges, providing the security of being able to cover essential bills and put food on the table. This stability is often essential to building a foundation for sustained, long term recovery and wellbeing.”
The outreach team work across the county offering specialist benefits advice and information, assistance with applications for a range of in-work and out-of-work benefits, advocacy and representation at appeal.
Welfare Advisors support with all aspects of clients’ dealings with welfare benefits, including advocacy at tribunal and follow up support to monitor impact and provide continued support in what can be a challenging time.
Kate continued: “Aside from the success supporting people to access the support they are eligible for, simply the letters of thanks we receive attests to the impact the service has on people’s lives. We are extremely proud of the service we can offer and of the dedication and hard work of our advisors. The funding secured from the Big Lottery has enabled us to work on over 2,000 cases in the last six years, and over that time we have worked with over 100 organisations."
Based in Norwich, the Welfare Rights service can be accessed by self-referral, or referral from outside agencies. If you would like further information please contact a member of the team who will make you an appointment on 01603 660 070 or via Welfare.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find out more about the service here.