A solution to benefit all
Aim: eBenefits aims to provide a more efficient service for citizens entitled to claim welfare benefits and claiming local authority administered benefits such as Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Free School Meals by tackling the complex legislative rules by using innovative technologies.
The development of the eBenefits products can support local authorities with delivery of the stretching ODPM Priority Service Outcomes in relation to benefits, and contribute to local government meeting the annual £75 million target efficiencies in Revenues and Benefits as reported by the Audit Commission.
Project outcomes: The commercial eBenefits system available from May 2006 has benefited from the learning process of the Rotherham pilot that was carried out in summer 2005, and has provided the basis for developing the functionality of the system further as a part of the roll-out phase, for example mobile and self-service offerings.
As well as developing an Information Pack, a Business Efficiency Calculator is available on the eBenefits web site to enable local authorities to calculate the potential savings in staff time that could be achieved within their own authority. The calculator is based on the process model used at Rotherham, but specific processes and timings can be adjusted to reflect the timings, costs, volumes and processes used by each council.
The eBenefits system has the potential to help:
- Reduce the amount of duplicated data entry by advisors
- Customer advisors by providing accurate and up to date information
- Improve decision making for citizens through the eligibility calculator for all 61 benefits types and entitlement details produced for Housing Benefit, Council Tax Benefit and Free School Meals
- Reduce the number of complaints relating to processing times and lost information
- Increase Benefit take-up levels
- Improve accuracy levels through the use of rules technology
- Reduce the level of administrative errors
- Levels of consistency in the way benefit applications are dealt with
Project partners: The eBenefits products have migrated to Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council and are being taken forward as part of a Consortium including RBT Connect (the Council's Joint Venture with BT), Northgate Information Solutions, Microsoft and Ruleburst.
Project status: Rollout phase