Minister visits city Jobs and Benefits offices

Communities Minister, Paul Givan pictured with (ltr) Tish Hegarty DfC Regional Manager, Eugene O'Hagan Lisburn Unit Manager, Deneen McConville Lisburn Office Manager and Leonora McLaughlin DfC Regional Manager during a visit to Lisburn Jobs & Benefits Office today. (Wednesday)
Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons
Communities Minister, Paul Givan pictured with (ltr) Tish Hegarty DfC Regional Manager, Eugene O'Hagan Lisburn Unit Manager, Deneen McConville Lisburn Office Manager and Leonora McLaughlin DfC Regional Manager during a visit to Lisburn Jobs & Benefits Office today. (Wednesday) Photo by Aaron McCracken/Harrisons

Communities Minister Paul Givan met with staff and management of Lisburn Jobs and Benefits office last week to learn more about the services they provide.

Speaking after the visit the Minister said: “This is just one of 28 such offices across Northern Ireland that provides an essential service to local communities.

“The offices provide a range of employment and benefit related support to working age benefit claimants and those seeking work.

“There are approximately 100 staff in the Lisburn Jobs and Benefits office who assist people to identify and address barriers to work through the tailored one to one Adviser service. Staff also provide assistance to people who are interested in becoming self-employed, and work on improving the linkages between employment programmes and skills development.

“In addition the office offers benefit information and advice, form filling, Income Support / Jobseekers Allowance fresh claim appointments, Social Fund Crisis Loans and advice on a wide range of Social Security benefits through the public office.”

The Minister concluded: “Today I saw firsthand how professional the staff are in how they interact and deal with their claimants.

“This can often be a very difficult time for claimants, yet staff are trained to ensure they manage the experience with sensitivity.

“I am also pleased that in yesterday’s June monitoring round £2million was secured towards providing independent advice on Welfare Reform. This will support and protect the most vulnerable people through Welfare Changes and will help to ensure that they received their full benefit entitlements.”