Specialist services

SSRV currently has a number of specialist services and projects that focus on particular aspects of social security law and/or on working with other sectors/workers to improve client outcomes through integrated services.

Current projects include:

  • Intersection Between Family Violence and Social Security Project
  • SSRV and Financial Counselling Victoria Integrated Services Project
  • Disability Support Pension Help services.

Financial Counselling

SSRV and Financial Counselling Victoria (FCVic) have established a partnership to design, implement and evaluate an integrated service bringing together social security law specialists and financial counsellors.

The overarching objective of this project is to enable financial counsellors and social security rights experts to work together more effectively to improve client outcomes. The project aims to build the capability of financial counsellors and community lawyers to identify and respond to social security law and related issues.

Project activities include:

  • Dedicated resourcing within SSRV to assist and work with financial counsellors who are assisting clients with Centrelink issues;
  • Training and professional development for SSRV staff regarding financial counselling services to improve integrated service provision and referrals;
  • Training and professional development for financial counsellors regarding social security law and Centrelink issues;
  • Relationship building between social security experts and financial counsellors across Victoria; and,
  • Identifying and addressing relevant systemic issues facing clients, primarily through the FCVic Centrelink Working Group.

The project is funded by the Victorian Government Department of Justice and Community Safety, with funding administered by the Federation of Community Legal Centres.

For further information, see – Specialist community lawyers and financial counsellors working together to improve client outcomes.

A report on the implementation and evaluation of the Integrated Services Project Year One, SSRV & FCVic, February 2020.

Intersection between Family Violence and Social Security Project

This project explores the intersection between family violence and social security issues. Areas of focus include:

  • Working with other community legal centres and community organisations to document and identify relevant issues and cohorts
  • Providing specialist social security law advice and assistance to people who have experienced or are experiencing family violence
  • Offering secondary consultation and legal support to community lawyers and workers assisting clients with relevant issues
  • Sharing learnings, identifying and responding to relevant policy and legal issues

The project is supported by the Victorian Government.
See SSRV’s 2018/2019 Annual Report or contact SSRV for further detail.

Disability Support Pension (DSP) services

The objective of the DSP Help Project is to design and implement a user-centred information, advice and advocacy service to help DSP applicants and support workers surmount the complicated evidentiary burden of DSP eligibility. Through the project, SSRV will:

  • assist DSP applicants to increase the chance of success when making an application for the DSP through access to the DSP Help online resource
  • build the confidence and capability of support workers to effectively assist their clients in making DSP applications through resources, training and advice services
  • assist applicants and their support workers to make more effective DSP applications and challenge unfavourable decisions through the provision of accessible legal advice and representation services
  • contribute to organisational and sector knowledge regarding the use of human-centred design and technology to ‘design justice differently’

This project is funded by the Victorian Legal Service Board + Commissioner.

Contact SSRV for more information.

Visit DSP help here.

Read the Year One Report.

Read the Year Two Report