Grow the financial strength of the people you help

Our calculator helps charities give the best guidance, without needing to be experts in the benefit system

One in three households have lost income as a result of Covid-19, and nearly half of people with children have lost household income. The pandemic has impacted millions of people, including those who have no experience of the benefits system.

Many people are unaware of the full range of help and support available, or what they are potentially eligible for. As a result, people are missing out on collectively around £10 billion of unclaimed benefits each year.

Charity organisations such as local Citizens Advice are stretching their already limited resources to cope with higher demand and more complex client needs. Policy in Practice is here to help staff and volunteers quickly guide clients on the support available.

Benefit and Budgeting Calculator

Our award-winning Benefit and Budgeting Calculator is the best tool to help you grow the financial strength of your clients.

The calculator helps you build the financial strength of your clients without needing to be a welfare expert. The tool helps you securely and confidentially assess your client’s unique situation to pinpoint benefits they may be eligible for, to give them the widest possible range of support. Using your client’s information, the tool calculates their future income to help them plan from month to month, so they can take control of their money and become financially stronger.

Whether you offer a self-serve calculator on your website or liaise directly with your client by phone and email, you can be confident that you are giving the most accurate and up-to-date guidance, as efficiently as possible.

Increased efficiency for experienced advisors

Advisors are dealing with major changes in people’s needs. Keeping up with the changes in Covid-19 regulations and benefit rules can be left to us. Our up-to-date, accurate software lets expert advisors spend more time helping people instead of making manual calculations using different systems.

Confidence for new advisors and volunteers

The intuitive built-in help features in the Benefit and Budgeting Calculator mean that even less experienced staff and volunteers can have confidence that the information they provide is accurate, without having to consult with more experienced colleagues. 

Safe cloud based storage

Multiple advisors can access the latest version of a client’s record, making the process smoother and less time-consuming for everyone. Software updates are automatic and free, so you always give accurate advice.

Free training and support

Our free onboarding programme gets you started with the calculator as quickly as possible. We hold monthly free training webinars for all clients to attend, so if new colleagues join at any time they won’t miss out. The built-in live chat gives you access to our policy experts during office hours, and via email at other times.

Standard Financial Statement and affordability

Our calculator uses the Standard Financial Statement and provides organisations and people with a digital way to complete their budget in a format recognised across a multitude of sectors.

Built-in support for difficult conversations

Our calculator has average cost of living data built-in so you can compare outgoings with a typical household in the same area. These numbers, from Office for National Statistics’ data, can make it easier to have difficult conversations about expenditure. You can objectively help clients to budget well and identify ways they may be able to reduce their outgoings.

Lesser known and under claimed supports

Our calculator covers more than Universal Credit and other well-known benefits. It also calculates eligibility for extra financial support available from local authorities, utility providers and others. This may include council tax support, food vouchers, free prescriptions and warm home discounts. You can offer your customers self-serve access to the calculator whenever they want it, via your website.

Our charity sector clients use the Benefit and Budgeting Calculator to:

  • Accurately maximise income
  • Compare different scenarios
  • Create a positive action plan
  • Explain complex changes simply
  • Identify ways to improve budgeting
  • Save, store and access cases efficiently
  • Give consistent and up-to-date guidance

Inspirational stories from clients who use
our Benefit and Budgeting Calculator

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

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TitleDateStart TimeDurationRegister
How housing providers can boost the income of tenants One in three households have lost income because of Covid-19 and over 7 million UK adults are behind on their household bills. The drop in the nation’s financial resilience, together with the end of the eviction ban, means that housing providers are braced for higher demand for support.

Yet we know that over £10 billion of benefits are unclaimed by working-age households each year.

In this webinar we will showcase the work of two housing providers who have each secured millions of pounds worth of increases in income for their tenants, boosting their financial resilience and improving their quality of life.

Join this webinar to learn:
- Which benefits were most underclaimed by tenants
- How the housing providers engaged with tenants
- How the housing providers secured the increased income for tenants
23/6/202110:30 BST1.3 hours
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West Midlands: Boost safeguarding through multi-agency data sharing The responsibility to safeguard vulnerable residents lies with councils and a range of safeguarding partners, but too often vulnerability is identified too late. Limited data co-ordination between organisations makes it hard not only to identify people who need support before they hit a crisis, but also to understand whether they are known to other safeguarding agencies and the wider safeguarding landscape.

Prevention is critical to improve safeguarding and we know that data needs to be more effectively shared across agencies if we are to better protect vulnerable people and reduce the potential of people falling into the social care system. This is a big challenge.

Join our meeting to hear learnings from a powerful project, backed by the LGA and NHS Digital, to link data across adult services, children's services, public health, the NHS, Police and Fire and Rescue Services.

Join us to hear:

- How this innovative and ground-breaking approach to combining administrative datasets has created a clear view of safeguarding concerns across all partners
- How new smart approaches to data management have tackled the security and data governance challenges
- How the data is brought to life to help multi-agency safeguarding (MASH) teams, social workers and all frontline safeguarding teams to improve communication, liaison and decision making

With guest speaker Paul Withers, Data Protection Manager, Walsall Council.
9/7/202110:00 BST1.5 hours
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Back to normal: coping when Covid-19 welfare support is withdrawn In response to the devastating impact that Covid-19 has had on the economy the government invested significant resources in supporting people whose income has been affected by the pandemic.

As we turn the corner on tackling the virus so we're starting to see the end of the protections that were put in place. The furlough scheme is set to end on 30 September, as is the support for self-employed people, and other protections have either already ended or are set to end soon.

Yet the future for jobs and job seekers is far from certain. In this webinar we will explore the protections that are ending and the role that data can play to help local authorities identify vulnerability in advance, target support and track change.

Join this webinar to learn:

- Which Covid-19 protections are ending, and when, and what this means for low-income households
- What the end of the eviction ban may mean for people facing problem debt
- How data can help local authorities to model demand for services in an uncertain future
21/7/202110:30 BST1.3 hours
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Presentation of findings: Low Income Londoners - How Covid has affected Londoners As part of our continuing data-led investigation into the causes and consequences of poverty in London we share the findings of our latest analysis to reveal how the pandemic has impacted low-income Londoners.

This latest Living Standards Index brings to life administrative data from nearly half a million low-income London households which has been shared by 14 London Boroughs.

Join us in this session as we present our latest findings on:

- Caseload changes
- The cost of Council Tax Support
- Worklessness
- Relative poverty
- Housing affordability
21/7/202115:00 BST1.5 hours
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