Benefit Notification Explanation Document

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  • #38848
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Hello All,

    Does anyone send out a basic explanatory guide for notification letters out?

    We currently don’t send anything out but one of our biggest failure areas for customer contact is “i don’t understand the notification letter”

    Just wondered if anyone sends anything out and/or if someone would be kind enough to share their version with me?

    #109935
    fox_lz
    Participant

    Whilst notification letter cover everything needed incase of appeals etc… that has been one of our big problems. Northgate and our policy section are currently working on a covering letter which just tells the claimant what they need to know in plain english! But this has not yet been released. I will contact our policy dept to see if i can get a copy for you. However im in Northern Ireland so the wording may be different. 🙂

    #109947
    trishc
    Participant

    we have some explanations on the backs of the letters, but still get phone calls. Northgate have a (chargeable) summary letters module which some La’s use. we’re currently investigating Gandlake’s summary letters. I expect other suppliers have a summary letters product too.
    I dont think theres any way to make the letters completely “plain english” due to the volume of info we are obliged to include.

    #110007
    Anonymous
    Guest

    We use the Northgate summary letters which are much easier to read. My only gripe is that we only want to send a summary letter where we are sending multiple letters to the claimant due to multiple changes. Northgate’s summary letters allow you to do this using a max pages parameter. We set ours to 5 i.e. a summary letter is only produced if the standard letters for that claim stretch to 5 pages. If you use this parameter the summary letter and all the letters linked to that summary letter are suppressed. You then have to manually remove the suppression on each letter. If you do not use the max pages parameter then all letters have a summary letter which increases print costs and we’re trying to lessen them.

    #110013
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Do you know if the Northgate summary letters are a chargeable element?

    #110014
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Very much chargeable. Don’t know how much though, I’m not that important!

    #110045
    Sam
    Participant

    We use the Northgate Summary letter. However we don’t include the payment information as due to the limitations and the way we run payments the information is not always correct. the limitations are as follows:

    The display of payment information on the notification letters relates to a number of factors. The value you use for the IMM_PAYINF parameter, and the frequency that you make immediate payment runs are the biggest factors.

    CLM349 actually runs the payment modules when generating this information so will always be the next payment due on the claim at the time the letter runs. Essentially, you need to find a value that fits your Authority working practices, and be aware of the limitations.

    To explain how the IMM_PAYINF parameter works, you have two values:

    IMM_PAYINF set to Y. This value assumes you make daily immediate payments.

    The letter will include the next schedule payment date taken from the NPRD value on the schedule the claim is paid on if the claim does not have any outstanding payments prior to the paid up to date on the payment schedule.

    OR

    If the claim has payments due prior to the paid up to point of the schedule, it will include the date the letter is produced and the immediate payment amount.

    The main limitation with this value is that if you do not make daily immediate payments the date can be wrong, or if you make an immediate payment and schedule payment on the same day the amount paid to the claimant will be greater than the amount that appears on the letter. This is an enforced limitation because immediate payments are by their nature not paid on a schedule so this is why the system makes this assumption.

    IMM_PAYINF set to N. This value assumes you do not make immediate payments.

    This value will always display the next schedule payment date and amount. The limitation with this is if you have a claim that has payments due prior to the paid up to point of the schedule, and you pay immediately, the date and amount will be wrong. Indeed if the amount is wrong it will be a payment of less than the schedule payment that the claimant receives. They are more likely to contact the Council when this happens.

    If you intend the payment information to be correct most of the time, you should make immediately payments daily and use IMM_PAYINF = Y. If you make frequent immediate payments, then again I would recommend using IMM_PAYINF = Y because when the letter is incorrect, it will detail a payment of less than the amount received by the claimant and a date that will be worng by one or two days. People are less likely to contact the council in this case.

    It is less likely you will never make immediate payments, but you may merge them with your schedule payment runs, if you do then use the N value of IMM_PAYINF, and be aware of the limitation with this.

    Neither of the values will be 100% correct, unless you always pay the day the letter is produced

    Another issue which causes confusion is that payment information on the letter is limited to the next payment on the claim. So if you have a payment due to a previous landlord, this will appear on a letter detailing a new period paid to a new landlord.

    None of the issues I have detailed here have been raised as WMS, they are limitations rather than faults.

    #111951
    dexy1
    Participant

    Hi there,

    We do the following on our website, with a shortcut link on the back of our customer notif’s, if thats any help…

    http://www.brighton-hove.gov.uk/index.cfm?request=c1224035

    #112029
    markg
    Participant

    We do something similar on the website, and enclose an explanatory leaflet which looks the same..

    http://www.canterbury.gov.uk/main.cfm?objectid=1629

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