Our Benefit and Budgeting Calculator gets a new design thanks to recent funding from Nesta’s Rapid Recovery Challenge competition. The improvements we have made to the design of our award-winning calculator will give people a better experience on both mobile devices and computers. These changes are live now.

Visit www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk to log in or view the new changes.

As part of our comprehensive redesign we conducted a number of research groups to make sure we have the end user’s needs at the heart of our calculator. We listened to over 1,000 people who used the calculator and sat down with eight of our organisational clients to get feedback from frontline advisors too.

We learned that we needed to enhance the user interface and improve the overall user experience, particularly on mobile devices and for people with additional accessibility requirements. This is exactly what we have done, making the calculator more accessible and easier to use whilst still retaining its high technical accuracy and built-in help features.

We are particularly grateful to Open Inclusion, a company that runs user research sessions with people living with disabilities, who helped us to improve the design of our calculator so that it is as accessible and user-friendly as possible.

Watch a short demo of the Benefit and Budgeting Calculator’s new design


Video transcript

Hi there, I’m Louise from Policy in Practice and I’ll be showing you the new design of our Benefit and Budgeting Calculator.

We recognise that the benefit system can be difficult to understand, especially if you’re new to it or unfamiliar with the system.

Over the last couple of months we’ve been speaking to people who are receiving benefits to hear about the biggest problems they face and hear their recommendations for how we could improve the Benefit and Budgeting Calculator.

We heard that people want to know about all the support that’s out there for them and get this information quickly and easily so that they can maximise their incomes.

Many people are unaware of the full range of help and support that’s out there and, as a result, people are missing out on around £10 billion of benefits that they’re entitled to claim each year.

For example, over one million families miss out on housing benefit worth over £3,000 a year.

We want to make sure that people receive the money that they are eligible for.

I’ll show you some of the changes that we’ve made to the Benefit and Budgeting Calculator to help people get this information easily.

We heard from people that the language used in benefit calculators and benefit application forms can often seem confusing and daunting. As a result, we’ve tried to use plain English wherever possible and, where we do have to ask something that might be a little more complicated, we’ve added some additional clarification.

For example, if I click find out more I can see some additional text that tells me exactly who counts as a non-dependent.

We’ve also changed the layout of our results page. We heard from people that they wanted to immediately see how much income they would be eligible for if they claimed all the benefits that are out there.

So, now I can see this at the top of the page, in orange, and then if I scroll down, I can see exactly how we reached this figure and I can apply for any benefits that I’m eligible for but not currently receiving.

We’ve also changed the section down here where we show additional things to consider and additional types of support that people might be eligible for.

So, for example, we flag up things such as reduced price wifi tariffs that people might not know are out there but can make a difference if someone is struggling to make ends meet. We give some clarification around who might qualify for a reduced wifi tariff and then we give them the link with some information to find out more and make an application.

As well as improving the layout on the desktop computer, we’ve also improved the way that the Benefit and Budgeting Calculator works on mobiles and tablets since we know that more and more people are accessing the calculator this way.

I’d really recommend that you go and try out the new design of the calculator at http://www.betteroffcalculator.co.uk.

This is for everyone. There’s £10 billion of unclaimed benefits out there so we think that everyone should give it a go. Thanks very much.

Next steps

  • Find out more about our Benefit and Budgeting Calculator here
  • If you’re an individual who wants to find out what benefits you could get visit our simple, independent benefits calculator here
  • If you’re an organisation with frontline advisors, such as a local authority, housing provider, Citizens Advice or debt recovery organisation you can request a free consultation to see how the Benefit and Budgeting Calculator can help you here
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TitleDateStart TimeDurationRegister
How to identify and support Just About Managing households using data The government has said it wants to make life easier for the 'squeezed middle' or people who are just about managing. These are the families who are not rich and they are also not those on the lowest incomes. Despite most being in work, they are struggling to meet their cost of living and it is no wonder.

The cost of living hit a 30-year high in February with inflation running at 6.2% and outpacing wage growth. Electricity bills were up nearly 20% in the year to January 2022, and gas bills by 28%, with further rises expected. Private rental prices across the UK went up by 2% in the year to January, the highest rate for five years; in the East Midlands that figure was 3.6%.

We know that one in five UK adults (10.3 million people) have less than £100 in savings, one in ten have no savings at all and more than a quarter have less than £500. Many are one broken appliance away from slipping into debt.

Local authorities want to help families who are struggling now to avoid a crisis down the line yet they have little or no visibility over people who are not already claiming benefits. Now though, analysis of other datasets can be used to get a clearer picture of families who are just about managing.

Join this webinar to learn:

- Who is just about managing now but at risk in the future due to the rising cost of living
- Which datasets can be used to identify families in danger of debt
- How local authorities can target support to avert crisis
29/6/202210:30 BST1.3 hours
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