Influencing the welfare system
Harnessing the skills of people with lived experience of multiple disadvantages to improve access to the benefits system
Expert Link is delighted to announce that we have received funding from the Lloyds Bank Foundation to improve access to the benefit system for people experiencing multiple disadvantages
For many people experiencing multiple disadvantages (including homelessness, mental health issues, substance misuse, offending and domestic violence and abuse), the process of claiming benefits, and therefore the accessibility of the welfare system as a whole, does not work.
There are a range of reasons for this. IT access and digital literacy, bank accounts and ID, accessing phone systems, fear of Universal Credit and practices that can re-traumatise people who have experienced adverse childhood experiences.
Whilst these issues remain systematically unaddressed, many people are unable to form a relationship with the DWP and do not receive a secure source of income which can form part of the security needed to lead fulfilling lives.
To change this, this project will bring together people with lived experience of multiple disadvantages and the benefit system and those working within areas of policy and practical influence to work on realistic, impactful, local and national change.
This will include local and national decision makers within the DWP, frontline staff within JobCentre Plus and staff working in local and national homelessness charities and related support agencies. What unites us all will be a passion to improve the system for those experiencing it.
Together, we will develop good practice around the mechanisms for making claims, inspire wider use of the local good practice that already exists (for example ‘outreach’ Work Coaches, trauma-informed environments, collaborative working with services and JobCentre Plus) and crucially demonstrate how effective changes to systems is possible when people with experience of those systems are treated as equal partners in practice design and delivery.
Do you want to get involved?
If you have lived experience of multiple disadvantages, and/or work in areas that can make a difference, and would like to get involved, please get in touch with us on the form below.
Let us know why you care!