Billing and Benefits Officer - Temporary
Temporary, Full Time
£25.00 - £28.00 per hour depending on experience
Closing Date: 31st May 2023
Essex County Council (ECC) are delighted to be supporting Basildon Borough Council to recruit into their temporary Billing and Benefits Officer position.
Working location: Basildon, Essex (Agile Working)
Contract type: Full Time 36.25 hour per week, Temporary for a 6-month period.
The purpose of this post is to administer Housing Benefit and Local Council Tax Support assessment, ensuring a high standard of quality and accuracy of work. In addition to administer Council Tax billing, up to and including the issue of the bill. Staff will ensure that all work undertaken is in accordance with law, regulations and guidelines and handled as promptly and efficiently as possible.
The Revenues and Benefits Service administers the billing and collection of Council Tax, Business Rates liabilities and corporate debt, the assessment of Housing Benefit and the Local Council Tax Support (LCTS) scheme. The Service is responsible for ensuring that benefits are paid timely and accurately and that the tax base is protected.
The post holder will ensure that decisions on Housing Benefit entitlement are made in accordance with law and policy guidelines, and that Council Tax demands and notices are issued in a timely manner for liability, exemptions, discounts and reliefs.
All staff must be mindful of potential fraud and that suspected irregularities are referred for investigation in all cases. A common factor in Revenues and Benefits services is that any member of staff may be called upon to act as a witness in proceedings in courts or tribunals to give factual evidence.
- Day-to-day administration of Council Tax billing and benefits processes, whilst seeking to promote efficiency and continuous improvement.
- Interpretation of Council Tax and Benefits legislation, ensuring that processes and decisions apply in accordance with law and policy guidelines.
- Understand the impact that all assessments, accuracy and overpayments have on subsidy.
- Administer the Local Council Tax Support Scheme in accordance with local policy and guidelines.
- Make decisions in respect of Council Tax liability, exemptions, discounts, reliefs and Housing Benefit entitlement and that notices are issued in a timely manner, referring any matters of doubt to a Senior Billing and Benefits officer.
- Ensure the accuracy of the property and taxpayer database, including Housing Benefits and LCTS data, by updating the IT systems and agreeing totals to Valuation Office Agency where appropriate.
- Undertake enquiries to identify exemptions, discounts and reliefs from council tax and evaluate household details relating to Housing Benefit / Local Council Support claims, carrying out detailed assessments of income, capital and other resources relating to entitlement.
- Verify and validate information, making all necessary calculations to determine entitlement and notifying customers accordingly.
- Liaise with Visiting Officers in relation to establishment of liabilities, reliefs and other queries, including the completion of new dwellings and claims for benefit and LCTS.
- To maintain an awareness of current legislation, policy and guidance relating to Council Tax, Housing Benefits and Local Council Tax Support.
- Respond to requests from customers for clarification of decisions, providing statements of reasons, correcting any errors discovered and reconsidering any decisions where appropriate.
- To liaise with all internal and external partners as required.
- Undertake all the duties within the framework of Equal Opportunities.
- Any other duties appropriate to the post: These other duties must be equivalent to or below the salary and status of the role and, where appropriate, under the Equality Act 2010, due consideration must be given to any employees with a “protected characteristic”.
- You must cooperate in all matters relating to Health and Safety and implement all procedures for your job role. The identification of Health and Safety related risks within the working environment must be highlighted to your management.
The Experience You Will Bring
- Demonstrable experience of working in a benefits section or in a similar environment dealing with income-related assessments.
- A good working knowledge of Council Tax and Housing Benefits law and procedures
- Experience of customer/public contact demonstrating good communication and interpersonal skills
- Experience of accurately maintaining and interpreting personal and financial data, ideally using CIVICA Software
- Educated to GCSE level or equivalent, indicating an aptitude for mathematics and English language
- Professionally qualified to IRRV level or willing to study for the IRRV
Why choose Basildon Council?
Basildon Borough Council is one of the largest local authorities in the East of England region and serves a population of approximately 172,000 people. The town of Basildon is regarded as a key economic hub with the main areas of employment being engineering, research and development, distribution and financial services. Basildon is also the second biggest economy in the Thames Gateway, outside of Canary Wharf.
Working for Basildon Borough Council means making a practical and positive difference to the lives of people living and working in the Borough and provides a fulfilling career.
Each of our employees - whatever job role they are undertaking - can feel motivated by having a unique opportunity to use their skills to make Basildon a better place to live. Whether it is conserving our countryside, by regenerating our Borough, by housing our residents or by collecting the refuse on time.
Note: ECC are advertising this role on behalf of Basildon Council.
Basildon Borough Council is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and adults, and expects all employees, contractors and volunteers to share its commitment to prevent abuse, harm or exploitation.
The Council applies a robust recruitment vetting process. If you are successful you will need to undergo a Pre-employment Vetting Procedure.
What you should do next
If you are interested in finding out more about this role, we would love to hear from you. Please apply via the Working for Essex website.
If you have queries on this role or require anything further, please email email@example.com