Welfare rights advice

Welfare Rights Service offer free, confidential, specialist advice, case work and representation on welfare rights for people who live in Salford.

The focus of our work is on income maximisation from social security, local authority and other benefits and not welfare in the wider sense. A “rights” based approach means our focus is on:

  • Empowering people to know and claim their benefit rights and
  • Increasing the accountability of institutions responsible for delivery.

We achieve this through advice, representation, training and our contributions to research and policy work.

Welfare Rights provides:

  • Benefit entitlement advice
  • Assistance completing benefit forms (except for new Universal Credit applications which are done through Citizens Advice)
  • Benefit refusal advice and assistance (including Universal Credit challenges); incorrect deductions; sanctions or awards.
  • Representation at social security appeal tribunals; a small number of valuation appeal tribunals (usually related to overpayments of Council Tax Reduction) and Upper Tribunal.
  • Challenges to decisions through advice and representation using, for example, the Human Rights Act 1988 or the Equality Act 2010.

Welfare Rights are unable to help with:

  • Housing, health or employment issues
  • Child support (CSA) matters
  • Anything related to the law unless it is about social security or debt
  • Universal Credit applications (contact Citizens Advice)

How do I refer myself or another person for welfare rights advice?

You can contact welfare rights by telephone or make an enquiry or referral. If you are a professional working with someone you are referring for welfare rights advice, feel free to contact our advice line for consultancy advice before making a referral.

  • Complete our online referral form. You can refer yourself or somebody can refer you (if referring somebody, you may need them with you as the form asks for personal details).
  • Call 0800 345 7375 (10am to 12pm, Mondays to Friday) - you can't leave a voicemail outside these hours.
  • We also have an Arabic speaking linkworker service, see our contacts page for further details.

If you or your client (if you are a professional making a referral) are already an open client of one of our debt advisers or charging assessors please ask them to discuss any welfare rights issues with a welfare rights officer rather than make a new referral for welfare rights advice.

The welfare rights team also take account of three of our recently updated eight priorities as a council.

These are:

  • Tackling Poverty and Inequality and especially taking “action to make things better for the many households struggling to make ends meet” and looking “to prevent people from falling into poverty in the first place”.
  • Health and Social Care and especially “working with our partners to improve health and wellbeing”.
  • Reducing Homelessness and especially for us to “raise awareness of the welfare reform implications” and “deliver targeted support to households at risk of poor outcomes as a result of Welfare Reform cuts”.

This page was last updated on 23 June 2022

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