2021 brought a number of different policy changes that have seen benefit amounts change overnight. The Guinness Partnership had to learn new rules quickly and apply them to cases to ensure none of their tenants slipped through the net. They endeavoured to identify those who may not be claiming all of the benefits they are eligible to receive.
The BetterOff Calculator from Policy in Practice was particularly helpful with this challenge as the engine is updated with each new policy change. This meant that Guinness could easily see how its tenants’ benefit entitlement changed, making it easy to give customers accurate information.
The number of referrals made over the past year with the BetterOff Calculator has been a huge success for The Guinness Partnership. They identified a vast number of customers not receiving the correct amount of benefits and used the calculator for over 12,000 referrals in 2021 alone.
One new tenant, in particular, got in touch seeking help with a Housing Benefit claim. She lived alone without a carer and was receiving PIP and ESA.
An adviser completed a benefit assessment on the BetterOff Calculator and recognised that she was not getting Severe Disability Premium (SDP).
The tenant started to receive the premium after Guinness notified the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) of this error but originally DWP did not backdate the award. This was successfully challenged and the tenant was awarded a backdate going back to 2017. This amounted to a huge total of £13,800 in backdated Severe Disability Premium payments. In addition, the tenant has an extra £67.30 every week going forwards, helping to strengthen their financial resilience for the future.
We have used the budgeting calculator for several years. We use it seamlessly across 3 large departments and it has helped improve our customers’ experience. Customers give us their information once making conversations easier and helps us to have all the information we need to help. We have helped lots of customers claim benefits they did not know they are entitled to and have always found policy in practice support if we have any queries to be impeccable.