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Booking an appointment

RCN Welfare Service

This page explains what the RCN Welfare Service can help you with, how to book an appointment, and what you need to do to get the most out of your appointment.

How to book an appointment with the RCN Welfare Service

To discuss making an appointment with the Welfare Service, please contact RCN Direct.


What the RCN Welfare Service can help with

Before contacting the service, we encourage you to look at our online advice and complete the tools/checkers relevant to your situation, as this may answer your query without the need to wait for an appointment.

If you've already used the online advice pages and completed any relevant tools/checkers (or if your physical health / mental health / personal circumstances prevent you from doing so) we can offer:

  • Advice and assistance with benefits decisions (e.g. if you're confused by a change/stop/underpayment of benefits, or need help challenging a benefit decision)
  • Advice if you're struggling to manage your finances and have problem debts (such as rental arrears, overpayment of wages/NHS Pensions/DWP Benefits/HMRC Tax Credits)
  • Information to help you understand your financial situation, including encouraging and empowering you to take control of your finances
  • Exploring ways for you to increase your income and/or reduce your expenditure if you're struggling financially (including welfare benefits and tax credits)
  • Signposting you to additional services or resources

Please note, at the current time the RCN is unable to offer FCA Regulated Debt Counselling. If you are seeking advice with consumer credit debts such as credit cards, bank overdrafts, and Hire Purchase then please see the Debt and Money management page for information on the steps you can take and how to access support.

How to prepare for your appointment

Our welfare advisers are committed to providing the best support they can for members. To enable our advisers to provide a quality service, please note the following:

  • Welfare appointments are carried out over the telephone. Please ensure you have a working phone that we can contact you on.
  • Appointments can last up to one hour. When you make an appointment, please ensure that you are available to speak to the adviser for this length of time.
  • Please be punctual. If you are not available when the adviser calls, we may need to reschedule your appointment.
  • We expect you to be in a safe and appropriate space for your appointment as during the call you may have to provide confidential information. If you are driving at the time of your call, you will be asked to park your car before continuing the call. If this is not possible, your appointment will be rearranged.
  • Please ensure that you have all relevant paperwork to hand as you may need to refer to these during the call.
  • If your appointment is to discuss challenging or appealing a benefit decision, please see the checklist below.

As letters and information sent to you about benefits can be confusing, and because there are usually strict time limits for disputing decisions about entitlement, it is important to prepare your evidence to share with us so that we can ensure we give you accurate advice.

We always need to see evidence of the decision you are seeking advice about, in order that we can provide accurate and timely advice. Please email any evidence or important documents to welfare.service@rcn.org.uk before your appointment.

If you want you send your information confidentially using password protection please us email welfare.service@rcn.org.uk.

Additional evidence

To assess the merit of your case in requesting reconsideration or appealing, we may ask you to provide additional evidence following your initial appointment. We will discuss with you what is required.

 

How to cancel or postpone your appointment

If you no longer require your appointment or need to postpone it, please contact us as soon as possible so that your slot can be offered to another member.

Virtual appointments

We are now offering virtual appointments via Microsoft Teams. If you would like a virtual appointment please mention this when you book your welfare appointment.

You will need to have the Teams software downloaded on your computer or mobile phone to use this service. This link will take you to the Microsoft website where you can download the software or app.

Budgeting form

If you want to explore maximising your income during your appointment, you will need to download and complete this budgeting form in advance of your appointment.

Welfare Service

Get expert support and advice on benefits, tax credits, debt, and housing.