News

Stay in the Know

Have you already claimed UC? 

March 22, 2022

If you’ve claimed Universal Credit, and would like to take part in a study, a researcher at the University of Oxford would like to hear from you.

Ally used to claim UC himself and is now looking into how work coaches engage with people during their claim. His research will help your experience of the benefits system be heard – although all the info given will be anonymous. You will get a £10 gift voucher for your time.

Get in touch via emailfacebook or twitter and Ally will set up a call or online chat.

Back to the Office

June 9, 2021

We are really pleased to be back working in the office. Although we are still delivering our appointments via telephone and skype we are hoping to be able to announce news of the return to face to face appointments very soon.

Moving Back to Normal

March 16, 2021

We are pleased to announce that from April 6th we will be taking steps to return to the office. We hope to be able to start face to face appointments, following Government guidelines, as soon as we can. An announcement on this will follow.

Digital Face-to-Face Service

April 27, 2020

We are very pleased to announce that we are setting up a new digital face-to-face service offering advice over Skype & Microsoft Teams to our clients, funded by Oxford City Council.
 
This new service will be able to offer a digital face to face drop-in service on Mondays between 10am and 1pm and a special service for key workers and those who are unable to access advice services during normal office hours on Thursdays between 4pm and 7pm.
 
In order to arrange an appointment please contact us by email at admin@oxfordshirewelfarerights.org.uk stating the email address you use for Skype and we will contact you with an appointment time.
 
If you are not confident with using Skype, are unsure if it is configured correctly or have little experience with using these programs but wish to use this service please contact our Digital Support Worker Michael on dsw@oxfordshirewelfarerights.org.uk or contact him by phone on 07889561192 and he will be able to assist.
 
We will continue to provide advice by telephone between 9am and 5pm Monday to Friday.

Keeping our Customers Safe

March 24, 2020

In line with Government advice, to help protect our customers and colleagues, from 24 March our doors will be temporarily closed. 

You can access support online www.dwp.gov.uk where telephone services are also listed (or for UC customers, through your account)


Jobcentre Plus

Telephone: 0800 055 6688
Textphone: 0800 023 4888

Universal Credit helpline 

Telephone: 0800 328 5644

In an emergency only call 01865 445139 (we will call you back immediately so that we minimise the cost to you).

TV Licence News

March 23, 2020

The cost of a TV licence rises from April 1st to £157.50. However, anyone who bought a licence in April 2019 should renew now in order to save money. If they act before April and pay in full by debit, credit card, or by cheque, they can take advantage of the current price and save £3.00. For more information on renewing a TV licence and ways to pay, visit: https://www.tvlicensing.co.uk/cs/pay-for-your-tv-licence/index.app

COVID-19

March 17, 2020

In response to the Covid-19 outbreak, we are taking all actions necessary to continue to provide our services, as best we can, while protecting the safety of our users, staff and volunteers. From 17.03.2020 we are unable to offer our face-to-face service, either via the office at Barton or representation at Tribunal hearings. This means that drop in will no longer be running at the current time. If you already have an appointment booked with us or we are due to attend a Tribunal hearing with you we will be in contact. We will still be running a full telephone service and will be delivering telephone appointments where appropriate.

The line is available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm on 01865 744165. We will also be continuing with our casework for existing and new clients.

For Professionals

Unfortunately we are having to cancel all scheduled training. If you have already booked we will be in contact with you.

Our consultancy line will still operate as normal on a Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday between 10am and 1pm.

For further information please see the following website:

https://www.doctorsoftheworld.org.uk/

coronavirus-information/

Christmas Opening Hours

December 20, 2019

Our last opening day will be on 24.12.2019 and we will be back in on 02.01.2020.
Drop in will be as normal on Monday 23rd December. We would like to take this opportunity to wish every a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Join us on The Oxford Legal Walk

September 25, 2019

The Oxford Legal Walk is taking place very soon. Would you like to get involved?

OxfordLegalWalk 2019

Please take a look at the link above and join us on Monday 30th September.

Help Support Us on The Oxford Legal Walk

May 1, 2019

Oxfordshire Welfare Rights are excited to announce we will be participating in the Oxford Legal Walk on 30th September 2019. Please see our fundraising page if you would like to know more:

https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/

OxfordshireWelfareRights

Welcome

January 9, 2019

Another new member of staff! We are delighted to have Michael Ledward join us in the role of Digital Support Worker. Michael will be providing digital/IT training for people visiting Barton Advice Centre, Agnes Smith Advice Agency, Citizens Advice Oxford and Rosehill and Donnington Advice Centre. This project has been funded by Oxford City Council and aims to give our clients more confidence in accessing online support. We look forward to working with Michael.

Christmas Opening Hours

December 18, 2018

The centre will be closed from 25th.12.2018 and will reopen Wednesday 02.01.2019. There will be no drop in on Monday 24th December but we will be available for telephone advice on 01865 744165. The first drop in for 2019 will be Monday 7th December.


We would like to take the opportunity to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

New Member of Staff

November 6, 2018

We are very pleased to welcome Laura Harris-Steers to our team as a welfare benefits caseworker on a partnership project with Headway. Laura started with us on 1st October and following a 4 week induction has now started working with Headway clients providing welfare benefits advice, casework and Tribunal representation. This project has been funded by the Big Lottery. We are looking forward to working with closely with both Laura and Headway Oxfordshire.

Office Shutdown

August 17, 2018

Due to on-going renovations to the Barton Neighbourhood Centre we are having to close our offices the week of the 17th September 2018. This means that there will be no drop in or telephone service that week due to the power being shut down for the whole building. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

Phones

June 21, 2018

We are currently having a new phone system installed. This means that our phones may be inactive today at times. Please bear with us, we are sorry for any disruption.


New Pilot Service for Debt

We are currently running a pilot service at the Barton Advice Centre providing a debt drop in every two weeks. This means Oxford City residents will be able to see a specialist debt caseworker without the need for an initial appointment and these sessions will cover any aspect of debt.

The service will operate on Mondays between 13:00 and 15:00 commencing Monday 16th April. Further dates for this service are:
 
Monday 30 April 13:00 – 15:00
Monday14 May 13:00 – 15:00
Monday 28 May Centre Closed Spring Bank Holiday
Monday 11 June 13:00 – 15:00
Monday 25 June 13:00 – 15:00

Please note that if demand is high we may need to restrict numbers.

Universal Credit

February 15, 2018

As from today, 15.02.2018 the 7 day waiting period on new claims for Universal Credit no longer exists.

STAFF TRAINING


There will be no one in the office on Tuesday 13th March due to staff training on the new Data Protection laws being introduced in May 2018. We will be back in the office as usual on Wednesday 14th March 2018.

Christmas and New Year opening times

December 20, 2017

Barton Advice Centre and Oxfordshire Welfare Rights will close for Christmas on Friday 22nd December and will re-open on Tuesday 2nd January 2018. Our first drop in session for 2018 will be Monday 8th January, however you can receive telephone advice from the 2nd.


We would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!!

All Change Again!

November 29, 2017

We said goodbye to Michael our Debt Caseworker at the end of last month. Michael has been a very much valued member of our team for the past 10 years and will be very much missed. Enjoy retirement Michael!

We have however said hello to our new Debt Caseworker Gary Horne. Gary will be working here at our centre on a Monday and Tuesday and is experienced in Debt Relief Orders. Welcome to the team Gary.

UNIVERSAL CREDIT IS COMING TO OXFORD CITY

September 11, 2017

Until now only single unemployed people were required to claim UC.

From 18th OCTOBER (nearly) all NEW CLAIMS for means tested benefits for people under pension age will have to be for UC instead of the following which will be abolished: Child Tax Credit, Employment & Support Allowance – income based, Housing Benefit, Income Support, Jobseekers Allowance – income based, Working Tax Credit.


In addition (or instead of) UC separate claims for the following benefits will still have to be made:

  • Employment & Support Allowance – NI contribution based

  • Jobseekers Allowance – NI contribution based

  • Local Council Tax Reduction Scheme

HELP WITH UC CLAIMS

UC claims will normally have to be made online. Oxford City council will be providing support for people who need help to make their claim for Universal Credit. 

All Change!

May 5, 2017

We were sorry to say goodbye to Sophie last month who is embarking on a new adventure in Cornwall. We wish her the very best of luck for the future. We say hello to two new members of staff; Mina who started as an adviser on 19th April and Nick who will be starting as a caseworker on 8th May.


We look forward to developing our team and continuing to provide the high standard of service our clients have come to expect.

Personal Independence Payment Medical Assessments

December 7, 2016

We are currently seeing a significant increase in clients being asked to attend PIP medical assessments out of County with one client being expected to travel a 103.2 mile round trip. If you experience this problem you can contact ATOS and request that your assessment be rescheduled at a venue closer to you. Current locations in Oxfordshire are Cowley Road in Oxford, Yarnton, Sandy Lane in Cowley and Witney.

Universal Credit Full Service Rollout dates for Oxfordshire

November 16, 2016

The Department for Works and Pensions have today announced the 2017-18 rollout dates for UC full service in Oxfordshire.


Oct 17: Oxford City -     Oxford Jobcentre area


South Oxfordshire District Council -   Didcot Jobcentre

Vale - Abingdon Jobcentre

Nov 17: Cherwell - Banbury Jobcentre

West Oxfordshire District Council - Witney Jobcentre (will include SN7 Faringdon area)

Dec 17: South Oxfordshire District Council - Reading Jobcentre (RG Postcodes)

Have you been affected by the issues experienced in 'I, Daniel Blake'?

November 14, 2016

We are an independent welfare rights unit based in Barton offering free specialist welfare benefits advice and support to residents in Oxford City. We support the kind of people represented in this film and recognise the impact that the welfare reform is having. The film paints a very bleak picture of the experiences failing a work capability assessment can have but there are some avenues out of the situation and we have the knowledge and experience to support you.


If Daniel and Katie had access to a welfare rights unit when they first experienced difficulties things may not have got so bad.


If you are experiencing issues with welfare benefits please contact us on 01865 744165.



Changes to the Tribunal Venue

November 11, 2016

From 5th December 2016 the venue for appeal hearings will move from Seacourt Towers in Botley to Oxford Combined Courts in St Aldates. Disabled parking is available but must be pre-booked through the Tribunal Service prior to your appeal hearing. The nearest car park is Oxpens which is next to the ice rink. Please click the link below for details and parking fees.

Parking details and fees

Please note that attendees of the Tribunals Service will need to pass through security at the main entrance of the court. Therefore please leave yourself plenty of time to get there before your hearing.