Public finance officers usually work in either revenues collection, eg the administration and collection of council tax, or in assessing housing and council tax benefits, although some may work on housing and council tax valuations or fraud investigation.
Revenue officers undertake some or all of the following tasks: calculating bills such as rents, council tax and business rates; ensuring that bills are sent out on time and issuing reminders; dealing with queries from the public and other agencies such as housing associations; record keeping and performance monitoring.
Benefits officers undertake some or all of the following tasks; assessing the income and needs of clients to calculate entitlement to housing and council tax benefits; paying the appropriate benefits and adjusting benefits when circumstances change; liaising with other departments and agencies such as social services and housing associations; dealing with legal action when necessary; keeping records and performance monitoring.
Local government revenues/benefits officers usually work 35 to 37 hours a week, Monday to Friday. Part-time and flexitime working may be available. Councils usually offer job shares where appropriate. It may be necessary to visit clients in their own homes, but only within the local authority area.
Work is office based at a workstation with a computer and phone.
To be a local government revenues/benefits officer you should:
Revenues and benefits officers are employed by local authorities throughout the UK, and by a growing number of companies working under contract to local authorities. With suitable experience and motivation, promotion prospects are good. It is also possible to move into other local government financial roles.
Officers specialising in benefits may have opportunities to work in the voluntary sector undertaking a similar role. It is possible to specialise and provide advice on benefits, often working for the Citizens Advice Bureau or a local authority.
The skills and experience gained as a revenue/benefits officer are transferable, and may lead to opportunities in central government departments such as the Inland Revenue and the Department for Work and Pensions.
Local Government Careers has a list of job opportunities within the sector. See website for further details.
If you would like to know anything about Benefits Officer that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.