Why automation is key to helping councils manage the benefits claims surge
3 mins read
As Coronavirus shakes the world and the UK’s Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) receives over 1.4 million new benefits claims in just four weeks, local authorities are bracing themselves for the resulting tidal wave as they, in turn, must provide the additional support required for these new claimants.
From housing benefit to council tax relief, local councils will be playing an important part in enabling these families and individuals to keep their lives as stable as possible in critically difficult times. But with one large local authority reporting that they’re down to just 10% of their workforce, how can councils respond to citizen demand against the backdrop of staff falling ill with Covid-19 and being unable to work?
Easing the strain
Of course, having to deliver services with limited resources is nothing new to local authorities, which is why at Capita we’ve developed technology to help ease the burden. Many existing Capita One customers will be familiar with (and, indeed, use) our digital forms for revenues and benefits – these intuitive self-serve forms are encouraging citizens to shift to more cost-effective digital channels as they increasingly see the benefits of a 24/7 service.
But where we can really make the difference, particularly in the current landscape, is with flexible automation to reduce the amount of manual processing and checking of claims.
Fast and accurate, our revenues and benefits automation is arguably the quickest and most cost-effective way to - almost instantly - reduce the administrative burden on your team, enabling them to focus on more complex cases.
How it works
Citizens visit your website as usual to complete an eClaim or change in circumstances form which is then picked up by the automation – this can be set to constantly scan your benefits eStore to find newly submitted forms which meet the preconfigured requirements.
The integrated automation then mimics exactly the steps your team would make to assess the claim, searching council tax records, new creditor references and running through other set parameters to reach a decision and produce the relevant documentation. If the automation gets to a point where it can’t continue because the claim doesn’t meet the parameters, it will tell you why, where it got to in the process, save the eStore information to remove the need for data rekeying and move on to the next claim.
Every step of the process is date- and time-stamped to the log, providing an audit trail so you can track exactly what’s happening and see why an assessment has been referred to the team for completion.
And all this in just 2-3 minutes for each assessment as the automation runs in the background, substantially increasing the speed of your service, reducing errors and your exposure to benefit fraud, whilst freeing staff to concentrate on those claims needing additional attention.
Quick set-up and free of charge until August 2020
To make it as easy as possible to get started, we’ve designed our automation as an ‘off the shelf’ solution which can go live within days. Available as a straightforward monthly subscription, we’re offering the service free of charge for the first three months for all April sign-ups, meaning there’ll be no charge until the end of July.
At a recent webinar to demonstrate the automation, we welcomed 99 virtual guests from local authorities across the UK and received really positive feedback on how it could help them ensure they’re getting support to the people who need it.
Additional Capita support
One revenues and benefits technology is a powerful factor in easing increased workload as a result of the unprecedented number of claims but if you’re struggling with the number of staff available, we also provide overflow resilience resource to help you with temporary capacity in your front and back office.
Expert and experienced, our people will quickly familiarise themselves with your operations, ensuring the most vulnerable people in society continue to receive the support they need.
Team manager, Capita
Chris is a keen user of smart technologies and is passionate about how we can use these to help in our day to day work to enable a superior customer journey.