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.
We believe that, with the right support, most people can find work and build a career. We chose to work with Policy in Practice because their unparalleled expertise in simplifying the welfare system, as well as their software, allows us to deliver innovative services to jobseekers across the entire Southern region.
Read a case study
Learn how some of our clients have used the Benefit and Budgeting Calculator to maximise income, reduce homelessness and prepare their clients for Universal Credit and other welfare reforms.
Our calculator models over 4,000 pieces of legislation across four government departments to show how one individual is affected. Automatically updated on an ongoing basis and tested to be accurate across over one million real cases, Policy in Practice’s Benefit and Budgeting Calculator was built by people who understand the welfare benefit system and shaped by organisations who use it.
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 Benefit and Budgeting Calculator is used as a motivational tool, as what better way is there to show someone how they can improve their situation by entering employment than by seeing that big difference as a financial figure?
Andy Johnson, Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
The Benefit and Budgeting Calculator makes it much quicker to do calculations and the tooltips make it easy to use, meaning we only need to train people once. The simplicity of the calculator means that clients can often self serve with little support.
Sue McCarron, Citizens Advice Wirral
You can explain benefit entitlements but people may not fully grasp the numbers. Having the Benefit and Budgeting Calculator as a mechanism to visually explain the breakdown of entitlements using colour coded charts really helps as it’s something people can relate to.
Grant Bailey, Cheltenham Borough Homes
The Benefit and Budgeting Calculator is invaluable to us. We use it to help the homeless find properties that are affordable and to provide the correct advice.
I was attracted to the Benefit and Budgeting Calculator because, as one tool, [it gives us] more consistency. It’s more than just an income and expenditure calculator. I was particularly excited about the better off scenarios [that help us to] work with our customers to show them how their income may improve, or not, depending on how their circumstances change, which links heavily into the Universal Credit calculation. I also like the action plan functionality and the self service option.
Our biggest concern, as UC rolls out across our large geographic area, was that we have consistency, that our tenants get the same service and also that our advisors have something to fall back on. Policy in Practice gives us that and we can access it from anywhere. The way that Policy in Practices deals with income entitlement, as well as the expenditure of the household, gives our advisors the confidence to have frank and honest discussions with households. Nothing speaks better to our tenants than facts and figures.
The best thing for landlords to do is to have a small team of staff that are dedicated to getting their heads around Universal Credit so that they can give the information to their colleagues. We’ve got 4 to 5 years to get to the end of this exercise, maybe even longer. The important thing is to look at your high risk cases which are your new claims and look to support them. I recommend you do as much as you can to support your tenants because the more you invest now, the more you will actually save by avoiding problems further down the line.
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.