Basic Rights Queensland provides free, state-wide information, advice, advocacy and legal services on Social Security (Centrelink and Employment Services) and Disability Discrimination matters.
Social security law is vast, complex and frequently changing, creating confusion and uncertainty for many Centrelink recipients. BRQ cuts through that complexity, helping people to know where they stand and, if an incorrect decision has been made, what to do about it.
Disability discrimination is unlawful; it is also often hurtful for the person being discriminated against. With staff possessing both legal and human services expertise, BRQ is able to assist the person to understand and protect their rights while being sensitive to a client’s emotional and psychological situation and also aware of the other aspects of their lives affected by, and affecting their legal problem.
With an early intervention focus, BRQ aims to resolve matters before they escalate, thereby minimising clients’ stress and saving public expenditure on tribunal or court processes.
Being a state-wide, telephone-based service, BRQ is able to offer the same expert, specialist services to all clients, whether they live in Brisbane or Boulia.
Everyone can receive advice, but our casework and representation capacity is limited and these services can only be provided for the most vulnerable.
Social work services
BRQ’s social worker works with clients who require social work assistance such as referrals to community agencies, brief counselling or emotional support.
Services to community organisations
BRQ offers specialist services for community organisations:
- Advice regarding your client’s legal situation and how best to assist them.
- Advice on how to navigate Centrelink processes or support a client through a discrimination complaint.
- Worker training to increase the capacity of staff to respond to their clients’ social security problems.
Community legal education
Through raising awareness about the law and making complex law comprehensible, BRQ’s community legal education program facilitates access to justice and enables people to understand their rights and obligations.
BRQ produces factsheets and guides which translate complex law into plain English. (Learn more. – link to Resources)
BRQ provides training to community-based, private sector and government workers.
This capacity-building training aims to increase the capability of staff to respond to their clients’ social security problems.
Our training can be tailored to the requirements of particular organisations, simple or in-depth according to need.
To discuss training to suit your organisation, contact our Community Legal Education worker on 07 3421 2510 or via [email protected] .
We work with the National Welfare Rights Network whose activities aim to reduce poverty, hardship and inequality in Australia by collecting and analysing the experiences of the people assisted by its member centres, identifying changes needed to address gaps in our social security safety net, and engaging with government to raise awareness of issues and work co-operatively to achieve change. The Network provides expert feedback to Government on new and proposed changes to welfare law and policy and the secretariat is funded by Government to co-ordinate the Network’s activities to this end.
You can read more about the National Welfare Rights Network on their website http://www.welfarerights.org.au/