BetterOff is a public facing welfare solution, bringing together employment and benefits into one easily accessible digital space. BetterOff combines benefits eligibility, applications, appeals, job searching and job journalling, speeding up the applications process, and enabling claimants to make informed decisions as to whether they will be BetterOff in work.
BetterOff is a fully managed, turn-key solution designed by Kirklees Council Revenues & Benefits team to help reduce their welfare advice budget, improve service provision, encourage self-service, digital skills and embed the link between benefits and employment by combining them in one digital space.
Primarily focused on local authorities revenues & benefits departments, BetterOff has been designed by a large metropolitan council in collaboration with housing partners, local Job and Advice Centres, claimants, training and voluntary groups, and has been developed by technology experts LookingLocal (wholly owned by Kirklees Council).
BetterOff is a public facing digital solution enabling 70% of all claimants to apply for benefits online, allowing frontline staff time to focus on the more complex and vulnerable cases.
Key components of the service includes a benefit eligibility checker (provided by entitledto), which gives the claimant a figure of how much benefit they would be entitled to based on their particular circumstances. The technology then provides the claimant with direct access to the relevant forms and processes based on their circumstances. To ensure the highest possible online completion rate, expert guidance is provided within each form to support the claimant to answer the questions as fully and appropriately as possible. This guidance is in a variety of forms from text to audio and video, and reflects the ‘real-life’ advice that frontline benefit staff give claimants.
Forms can be saved and returned to, and again to ensure the highest possible online completion rate, BetterOff is supported by webchat technology as well as the capability for ‘co-production’ on benefit forms between the claimant and online benefits advisors; think Google Docs meets Benefits Forms.
Integrated with a range of job feeds from public, private and local job sites/sources, users can search for jobs based on different criteria and keep a detailed job journal which is automatically populated by job searching activity undertaken in BetterOff, and to which claimants can add activity undertaken by other means. This journal can be automatically shared with advisors from BetterOff and follow-up activities can be logged, all in line with the Universal Credit Claimant Commitment.
In addition to application forms, BetterOff also enables users to apply and manage the benefit appeals process, and uses all means possible to ensure the highest monetary gain for each claimant, as well as a broad measure of ‘monetary gain’ across the local economy. BetterOff works with national partners including but not limited to DWP, The Money Advice Service, Universal Jobmatch, leading voluntary opportunity providers and multiple job sites.