South Ayrshire Council is set to introduce changes in November to ensure people applying for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reductions can do it online.
This self-service approach will mean quicker processing times, as claims won’t be delayed waiting for paper forms to be returned and scanned. Claimants will be able to make their claim online and ‘sign’ their application by means of a tick box.
The online process will also reduce the need for some face to face interviews and cut down on paperwork. This will allow staff more time to help customers who have more complex cases.
Another advantage of the online approach is that it allows customers to save their claim progress at any time. Benefits staff are able to view completed or partially completed claims from any location and provide telephone and face to face support should the customer experience any difficulties.
Guidance on how to access and complete the online form will be available on the Housing Benefit page of the South Ayrshire Council website.
The Council is in touch with partners such as Ayrshire Housing, West of Scotland Housing Association, Ayr Housing Aid and Stepping Stones for Families and they are keen to continue assisting their tenants and customers to make claims using the new online system.
Councillor Robin Reid, Resources and Performance Portfolio Holder said: “We have good support for this online system and other Councils including City of Edinburgh Council, Glasgow City Council, Highland Council and North Lanarkshire Council have adopted similar schemes which are proving popular, reflecting the way customer services are changing. We intend to follow suit, adding value through our Transform South Ayrshire programme which is looking at ways to improve the customer experience through increasing online options. We want to make sure that people can carry out transactions from the their own home at a time that suits them.”