Redbridge has seen a large increase in the borough’s population over the past ten years. The Benefit’s team priority has therefore been ensuring that their growing number of residents are as financially resilient as possible. Their work saw them nominated for Benefits/Welfare Reform Team Of The Year at the 2022 IRRV awards.
Redbridge Council’s good news story of 2022
The Policy in Practice LIFT platform is now an integral part of our Service delivery. We have established a cross-year schedule of take up campaigns to identify and target those residents who are most in need of support – be that income maximisation through benefit take-up, free childcare, DHP or HP, support for carers, the disabled, pensioners and working age households.
We have also been able to use the LIFT data to help the Council deliver HSF1 & HSF2 in a more targeted and effective way. By using Ward data, we have been able to site our outreach support, clinics and Cost of Living Marketplace events strategically around the borough to be most impactful. We collaborate with the Council’s employment service, using LIFT data to support residents into employment.
In short, the enhancements to most of our service functions have been born out of LIFT analysis; our relationship with Policy in Practice remains healthy; we benefit greatly from our regular meetings with our Policy in Practice business partner whose experience, knowledge and suggestions are invaluable.
Christina O’Haire, Head of Benefits, London Borough of Redbridge
Learn more about Redbridge’s good news story
Redbridge’s population grew by over 11% in the ten years from 2011 to 2021. This increase is far higher than the overall population increase in England, which stood at 6.6%.
Providing the right support for a growing population is a key challenge for us in the Benefits Service at Redbridge.
The team at Redbridge is working on a number of initiatives to deliver the council’s anti-poverty strategy. The data exploration enabled by LIFT gives the team information on trends identified from the benefits caseload and insights derived from the platform. Using the management information they can suggest practical solutions for residents in the greatest financial need.
The LIFT platform helps Redbridge to deliver wrap-around support for residents and prevent them from falling into financial crisis. By using administrative data to identify vulnerability, target preventative support and encourage benefit take-up, we can lead the way for other local authorities.
We can now identify and target those residents who are eligible for benefits but not claiming them. LIFT has helped us to pay out the following in the 2021/22 financial year:
- £1.3 million in Discretionary Housing Payments
- £750,000 in unclaimed and underclaimed State and Local Benefits
- £181,000 in Hardship Payments
- £82,000 in Household Support Fund payments
In the same year the team was also able to collect £2.6 million in overpaid Housing Benefit.
Offering timely support and early, highly-targeted intervention can help people successfully navigate their way through financial crises.
The LIFT platform helps us to give sound benefit advice to residents. Our support helps people maximise their household income. Spin-off benefits from the work include enhanced wellbeing and improved financial resilience for residents. Staff have experienced a significant mindset shift; from being focused on performance indicators and output targets to providing a well-rounded, support-based service for residents.