From September 2015 to April 2016, the total amount of annualized benefits secured for Wellbeing Service customers hit a total of more than £1 million. Helping people to access the benefits they are entitled to is one of the most common issues which Wellbeing Service caseworkers are called upon to address.
Caseworkers may provide support by reviewing current income, determining eligibility for benefits, helping customers to make sense of and complete application forms and/or accompanying them to interviews. Caseworkers may, at the same time, help customers to address debt, alerting creditors before circumstances spiral out of control and sourcing essentials free of charge – for example supplies from food banks. Of course, the impact on customers in terms of improving their standard of living and associated emotional wellbeing varies from case to case; however it is not an exaggeration to state that in the most extreme cases, the Wellbeing Service has brought people back from the brink of crisis and literally transformed lives.
This sort of work is very much within the province of prevention and early intervention: restoring the wellbeing of some of the more vulnerable members of our community, empowering them to take control of their own lives and continue to live independently, reducing care needs, keeping people out of hospital and, at the same time, boosting spending power in the local economy.