A20 – VO implications

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  • #21156
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Now that the new PM10 no longer has a specified number of visits to undertake can I ask what other LA’s will be doing with their Visiting Officers. Will you stay as you are, retain some visiting for the higher risk cases but use your VO’s to carry out reviews using the scope given in A18 (e.g. predictive changes leading to a telephone call), will the VO’s be used for something completely different e.g. generating revenue by targetting errors in the award of SPD’s for council tax, will there be a combination of any of these scenarios?

    I’ve just analysed our data for 2006 and currently 62% of our visits result in no change to benefit, 30% result in a decrease and 8% result in an increase. Is anyone prepared to share their data so that I can benchmark how effective this is?

    #4552
    leigh_neville
    Participant

    I’m surprised that Benefit Managers around the country aren’t up in arms about this.

    Over the last few years, they’ve restructured and budgeted to create VO jobs purely to hit the old PM10. Now they are technically redundant.

    #4553
    cheryl b
    Participant

    We are currently considering using our visiting officers to collect info from claimants quickly to try to improve our performance on changes in circumstances and new claims 8)

    #4554
    jmembery
    Participant

    We don’t have Visiting Officers as our Benefit Officers (who process new claims and COCs) visit on a rota basis. They visit claimants to collect evidence and give advice etc, as well as normally undertaking intervention visits (we are currently majoring on telephone reviews so not a lot of intervention visits are going on at the mo).

    I think this keeps Benefit Officers in touch with customers and gives you as a manager a lot of flexibility.

    #4555
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Our problem with vists is response. We started off doing unnotified visits, but only found the claimants in 40% of the time. We then changed to notified visits, where we wrote and informed then when we would be visiting and the sucess rate (where the claimant was in) actually fell to 32%. The claimants only seem to get in touch when we suspend or even cancel their claims.

    However when we actually get to visit we have found the visits to be very effective, as there is usually a change in circs (or six) in the vast majority of cases.

    But then my borough has a very large percentage of working claimants (second highest in the country), who are nearly all receving tax credit. Its is usually a certanty that the tax credit will have changed, even if nothing else has.

    But then we could probably pick these changes up just as easily with a postal claim form.

    #4556
    leigh_neville
    Participant

    I just re-read my post on this thread and realised how negative it sounded. There WILL be good things to come out of the new PM10, namely a reduction in fraud and error.

    I think that the key to this is going to be pro-active fraud departments and re-assessing what makes up a risk group.

    I like Cheryl B and Jmembery’s ideas.

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