Terms of engagement
This page outlines our terms of engagement related to the Support Hub. If you have any queries please talk to your welfare rights advisor, or you can contact the Support hub lead Liz Fowler: [email protected].
Our welfare rights service
The Royal Free Charity Support Hub provides support and information to Royal Free London patients and carers affected by long term health conditions.
One of the services we offer, by hospital staff referral, is welfare rights advice and assistance.
Your case worker
Your welfare rights advisor will be responsible for the conduct of your case. You can contact them by email or telephone, using the details they have provided to you.
The terms of our engagement
Your welfare rights advisor will help you with the welfare rights matter they have agreed to assist with. This might involve:
- making a welfare benefit claim.
- challenging a welfare benefit decision by way of a ‘mandatory reconsideration’ or appeal.
- applying for council tax reduction.
- negotiating affordable repayments of welfare benefit overpayments, or of rent, council tax or utility arrears.
- applying for local welfare assistance.
- applying for help with health costs.
- requesting a social services needs or carer assessment.
- securing disabled travel or parking concessions.
- helping you make a homelessness application; or
- applying to be moved to more suitable accommodation.
They will confirm the background information you have provided to them, and the steps they have agreed to take to assist you, at the start of your case. These steps might include contacting one or more ‘third party’ on your behalf, for example the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), your local authority, or medical practitioners involved in your treatment and care. If they need to do this, they will explain why first, and seek your agreement. You will be asked to sign a ‘third party consent form’.
Your advisor will then update you each time something happens. They will also make you aware of any important deadlines. Your advisor will do their utmost to help you satisfactorily resolve the matter in question.
Things outside our remit
Your advisor cannot provide advice or assistance in relation to an immigration matter, or any debts owed to organisations that are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, such as banks, credit card companies or mortgage lenders. They will endeavour to refer you to a suitable specialist if it transpires you need this type of help.
Your advisor will also need to refer you on to an external community care specialist if you wish to challenge social services or the NHS.
In the alternative, your advisor will need to refer you to a housing solicitor if you have an urgent specialist housing matter such as:
- having received an eviction notice.
- court proceedings for rent arrears or antisocial behaviour.
- disrepair that is significantly impacting health; or
- needing to move because your current accommodation is completely unsuitable.
Our welfare rights service is funded by the Royal Free Charity, supported by public donations. It is therefore free of charge to you.
In the unlikely event of a problem arising in relation to the advice and assistance your advisor is providing to you, please feel free to email your advisor.
If the problem cannot be resolved, please email the Support hub welfare rights supervisor at [email protected]
Feel free to contact your welfare rights advisor if you have any questions about the above. Please return to this page for future reference.