Because of the changing economic landscape, benefit caseloads across local authorities are fluctuating like never before. A London-based council was seeking a service partner who could provide a flexible benefit resilience solution that could be easily adjusted on a month by month basis depending on peaks and troughs in caseloads.
We’ve been working with the council for four years, supporting them with benefit processing resilience when demand becomes too high for existing teams to support as efficiently as they would like, and also when those complex cases, appeals or complaints arise which can take some significant time to support.
In 2018, we began an initial, short-term resilience partnership for the delivery of off-site benefits processing. Following the success of the original objectives, the partnership between Capita and the council has developed into a long-term partnership, which ensures genuine flexibility and responsiveness to the Council’s services and customer needs.
This model of delivery is a highly-successful approach to partnership working in today’s changing local government climate, where budget challenges, limited internal capacity and uncertainty remain at the fore.
It enables the local authority to have flexible access to additional resources from Capita’s pool of fully-trained employees for benefits processing during peaks in caseloads or a reduction in operational capacity.
We work extremely flexibly with the council’s inhouse teams so when demand increases, they can switch on any additional resource they require easily. When demand decreases, they can reduce that resource down again to the level of capacity they need.
Since the original provision of resilience service the partnership has grown to include:
- appeals and complaints work
- quality checking and assurance of the in-house processing team
- training of the council’s existing benefits teams.
This support provided has;
- addressed benefit claim backlogs
- ensured that citizens are getting their benefit claims processed quickly and accurately
- given the council additional confidence that they are serving the most vulnerable in the Borough in the most efficient way
- reduced pressure on in-house teams
- given the confidence that any increases in demand from seasonal peaks or unpredictable circumstances can be met.
We now process over 70,000 benefits claims a year on behalf of the council, ensuring that the most vulnerable receive help in an efficient and timely manner.