Team Netsol has extended its BECS revenue and benefit systems with the launch of its Housing Benefit Award Accuracy Checker.
HBAAC is designed to help local councils manage the mandatory full case reviews of their housing benefit caseloads, highlighting claims that have a high risk of undeclared changes or housing fraud. It also transforms the speed with which validations and information gathering can be done.
The DWP’s housing benefit accuracy initiative requires councils to set a number of full housing benefit case reviews, with the referrals broken down into different risk groups, with the interventions and changes recorded in their housing benefit systems. A significant challenge around this requirement is to keep up with the numbers needed and to identify the most efficient method of delivering this information back to the DWP, identifying undeclared changes in circumstances which may result in greater or lower awards. It also needs to flag up potential areas of individual or organised fraud.
Having alerted housing staff of a potential problem, HBAAC provides everything needed to contact claimants to check that their housing benefit claims are accurate and up-to-date.
Available for use on any device, Team Netsol’s system comes complete with intelligent forms and the facility to securely upload evidential documents. Team Netsol said that HBAAC substantially reduces processing time; for every 100 case reviews carried out per month, the company estimates that a council would save over 12 working days.
While housing providers aren’t directly responsible for the same DWP-mandated exercise, HBAAC can be used by housing providers to ensure that claimants’ details are accurate and don’t result in a sudden drop of income as a result of overpaid housing benefit or council tax reduction.
Jake Elliott, product manager, Team Netsol, said, “Any discrepancies in a tenant’s qualifying details for housing benefit or council tax reduction can have a direct impact on rent collection and arrears. This is significant both for the local council completing the data for the DWP and the housing provider seeking to minimise disruptions to its rent collections.”