We needed to look at people’s circumstances before giving more flexible payment arrangements which meant we had to make decisions about what people could afford to pay. It was very difficult for staff to be objective and consistent in their approach, which wasn’t very fair for the customer. This also made it difficult for us to explain our reasoning to our clients.
I decided Policy in Practice’s Benefit and Budgeting Calculator was something we really needed. It’s enabled us to provide a consistent approach to assessing affordability. We’ve been able to give our customers an online tool which lets them take control of their finances and liaise with us electronically, without the awkwardness or challenge sometimes faced in person.
The differences with this calculator, compared to others on the market, are the income assessment features that give the built in ability to maximise benefits and see the impact of working extra hours. The Universal Credit calendar feature helps us to flex payments based on fluctuating income.
Carole Kenney, Phoenix