In the light of the introduction of universal credit, Looking Local is helping more than 100 housing providers and local authorities to publish key information about benefits and jobs online, at the same as giving the widest possible digital access to claimants who are moving across to the new benefits system.
Looking Local’s solutions provide front-line housing and council staff with tools to encourage self-service by claimants, offer financial advice, and help people find employment. The solutions give claimants access to a universal credit eligibility checker, the Money Advice Service and jobs information on the widest range of digital devices, including smartphone apps, mobile, social media, Sky and Virgin television, games consoles and online.
The ability for claimants to log their time spent job-hunting, which is one of the basic requirements of new claimants’ commitments, is also available on Looking Local’s mobile offering and smartphone apps.
Looking Local reported that 885,000 jobs were searched for across its channels in 2014, and that it had received more than 150,000 visits to its universal credit pages. So far this year, around 80,000 jobs have been searched for, alongside 21,200 pages of universal credit content. In addition, content from The Money Advice Service has generated 26,000 page views.
Guy Giles, managing director, Looking Local, said, “With such a pivotal piece of welfare reform coming on-stream nationwide, it is important that housing providers and local councils can provide claimants with up-to-date, high-quality information on universal credit and associated advice while minimising their contact management costs. Our solutions are therefore designed to help tenants self-serve in a way that is most convenient to them.”