Rethink the centralised, IT- dominated service design for Universal Credit
Responsible department: Department for Work and Pensions
A call for Iain Duncan Smith to rethink the centralised, IT- dominated service design for the delivery of Universal Credit. Evidence from a significant number of housing benefit offices demonstrates that local, face-to-face processing of benefits is cheaper and faster than distant automated telephone and online processing. Processing claims face-to-face is not only cheaper and faster but an excellent way of ensuring that vulnerable people understand both their entitlement and their obligations. Feedback from claimants is overwhelmingly positive when their claim is dealt with face to face by an expert. If the DWP goes ahead with plans to process the majority of claimants online, they will find many claimants turn to Government-funded welfare organisations, council reception areas, councillors and their MP because the automated system will not be able to deal with their individual questions, particular concerns and unique set of circumstances.
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