Improving new claim BVPI’s

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  • #22587
    peterdelamothe
    Keymaster

    There are a number of ideas floating around. For instance:

    a) refusing to accept a claim until ALL the info is available

    b) determining the claim after one month as no entitlement WITHOUT telling the customer what further info is needed (i.e. because it should be clear on the claim form).

    Any others? Comments on b) would be most welcome.

    Peter

    #8714
    Anonymous
    Guest

    And while we’re on the subject, can anyone give me any suggestions on how we can improve change of circs stats. Some authorities are reporting low single figures and I can’t fathom out how this is being achieved. Even if we actioned everything on the day of receipt, we always get plenty of CoC’s that can’t be actioned immediately as there is insufficient info (leading to queries / suspensions, etc = high BVPI, especially when customer doesn’t respond).

    #8715
    seanosul
    Participant

    [quote:22fc723fe4=”peterdelamothe”]There are a number of ideas floating around. For instance:

    a) refusing to accept a claim until ALL the info is available

    b) determining the claim after one month as no entitlement WITHOUT telling the customer what further info is needed (i.e. because it should be clear on the claim form).

    Any others? Comments on b) would be most welcome.

    Peter[/quote:22fc723fe4]

    I hope you are joking Peter. It appears that in the aim of proving good customer service through top quartile BVPIs customer service goes out the window.

    a) is just unlawful – how do you stop claims coming in by post?

    b) Sounds reasonable in the non reasonable way that public services are now being delivered, however I would suggest that the claim form should at least have a pull out checklist of all of the required documentary evidence to enable the claimant to confirm to themselves that they have returned all necessary documentation. This will not cover all circumstances however as there will always be claims where further information will be required as queries arise from the evidence submitted and not just the claim form.

    #8716
    Accura
    Participant

    “customer service” and “performance” in the same sentence, hmmm surely not!

    as for a) didn’t a couple of authorities get slapped by the BFI for trying this method a few years back?

    b) back to the old defective / adverse inference argument, give ’em a month, then another ahh what the heck bring in the info when you’re good and ready. 😉

    #8717
    Anonymous
    Guest

    [quote:0798c3ac09=”peterdelamothe”]There are a number of ideas floating around. For instance:

    a) refusing to accept a claim until ALL the info is available

    b) determining the claim after one month as no entitlement WITHOUT telling the customer what further info is needed (i.e. because it should be clear on the claim form).

    Any others? Comments on b) would be most welcome.

    Peter[/quote:0798c3ac09]

    The first of those two is certainly Bad and Wrong. How do you make the distinction between posted claims and claims that are handed in? you can’t refuse ones that are posted very easily, unless you treat it as an intention to claim, but even that may be a bit hard to argue at a tribunal.

    For the second, given the amount of stick that authorities as a whole have received for notification letters, imagine the comments that would come back if things where done like this! I’d hate to be at the Tribunal where the chair asks ‘so why didn’t you ask Mr X to supply this information?’

    Not to mention that I’d have doubts about the legality of following either course.

    [quote:0798c3ac09=”AntsD”]And while we’re on the subject, can anyone give me any suggestions on how we can improve change of circs stats. Some authorities are reporting low single figures and I can’t fathom out how this is being achieved. Even if we actioned everything on the day of receipt, we always get plenty of CoC’s that can’t be actioned immediately as there is insufficient info (leading to queries / suspensions, etc = high BVPI, especially when customer doesn’t respond).[/quote:0798c3ac09]

    CoC stats in single figures always make me suspicious. The CoC targets were supposed to be reviewed at the end of last year, but the top scoring one stayed the same. In all of the examples given by the DWP, CoC were taking longer than 9 days to assess. Its the BVPI that is wrong here, and the target is being kept low by authorities that are manipulating figures using ideas like Peters (a) to misrepresent the time that they are taking to assess CoC’s.

    👿 Rant over now :11:
    Jon

    #8718
    chris harvey
    Participant

    I had heard that some authorities were treating incomplete claims received as mere intentions to claim and only accepting them as proper claims when all the supporting info had been sent in. I call this sharp practice.
    As for the COC PI I have posted before my conviction that these are manipulated by some authorities and after visiting a particular Beacon Council to find out how they achieved single figures I now know for certain that the guidance is not being followed.

    #8719
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I’m aware that some LAs are ‘improving’ CIC stats by cancelling the claim the moment they become aware of a change in circs such as IS/JSA ceasing or a person starting work and requiring the claimant to make a new claim which will then be assessed as a continuous award provided they respond within one month…….

    #8720
    jmembery
    Participant

    Firstly, I agree there is no legal basis for a) and b) appears be very unhelpful to customers.

    Secondly, there is no “magic” in having reasonably short turnaround times for changes in circumstances and no need to resort to cheats. We are currently varying week on week between about 5 days to about 8 days.

    The obvious measures we have in place include

    1) Making certain that all post gets through to the officers quickly so that those changes that can be processed immediately are done in 1 day. This gets you off to a good start.
    2) Having good liaison with local RSLs so that advance notice is provided of rent increases allowing these to be processed in advance. (1 day again for stats)
    3) Where someone telephones to report a change in circumstances, a clear explanation of what evidence is needed to support the change is given to increase the chance that when the written report is received it is supplemented by the correct evidence.
    4) ETDs are printed promptly and acted upon that day. Where someone has come off of IS, JSA etc we suspend immediately and write to them (and where possible telephone them) the day the ETD is printed. Both the letter and the telephone call covers exactly what evidence is needed.
    5) Reminder letters are sent where evidence is not received promptly and visits are arranged to collect evidence where necessary.
    6) Staff are trained, and regularly reminded, what changes of circumstances count towards the stats and which don’t. (Particularly important with changes identified by interventions).
    7) A sample of changes are checked daily, and all changes taking longer than 10 days are checked weekly to identify problems and ensure compliance re 6 above.
    8) Where, following an ETD showing an end of IS/JSA etc no evidence is received after one month the claim is ended promptly that day, minimising the effect of these as much as possible.

    Hard work but, IMO, good practice and, with the possible exception of 8, beneficial for the customer too.

    If you are doing all this and still can’t get turnaround times below 10 days then I have to admit I am stumped.

    #8721
    jerikaz
    Participant

    Wouldn’t it be interesting if LA’s also had to provide stats on how many changes they had actioned that they had not classified as “written changes in circumstances” ie had not been reported for BVPI purposes. But then again I suppose these would be fiddled too!

    #8722
    jmembery
    Participant

    I think the extent of “fiddling” is often severely overstated. Most authorities that I have worked for, or worked closely with, have tried to provide accurate figures even if they were not always 100% right.

    Remember that many, although not all, authorities do have good external auditors who check the figures and most BVPI figures are also included in Councils CPA assessments that are checked by the BFI.

    Obviously, some LAs might cheat, often because senior managers or members are more interested in BVPI figures that customer satisfaction, but these LAs will come a cropper every three years when the BVPI satisfaction survey takes place.

    The problem is that when everyone goes around stating that all these figures are fiddled, those LAs that are trying hard to provide accurate figures but are struggling with performance due to staff shortages etc might be tempted to think “well if everyone else is fiddling them”.

    #8723
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Thanks for your comments Jmembery. I didn’t mean to come across suspicious, I’m just struggling for ideas! Your suggestions are very welcome.

    #8724
    Anonymous
    Guest

    I have to say that without my ranting hat on I agree with a lot of what jmembery has said, and his suggestions are certainly good ones, and ones that I’ll take somewhere if I can find a method of doing so.

    I’ve been digging around the DWP site to see if I could quickly find some figures for how many authorities scored what in this BVPI last year over lunch, but the data proved somewhat elusive, so I’m not going to bother. If anyone else knows where it is, it may be interesting to see how many scored a 1, 2, 3, or 4 at the end of last year.

    My suspicions are mostly based on talking to persons from authorities, who have told me that things like Peter’s suggestions do go on, but I’m equally sure that there are genuinely high performing authorities out there using methods like those that jmembery outlined.

    Benefits is so complex an area, that I sometimes wonder if auditors fully understand a lot of what they are looking at. I suspect that sometimes it is relatively easy to pull the wool over their eyes due to the complexity of things.

    I’m also not so sure about relying on the Customer Satisfaction Surveys too much, as if the customer has not known anything other than the way that one authority deals with things, and that has always been the way that they are dealt with, the customer may not give a poor rating for the service. Also people have remarkably short memorys (just look at all of those promises made by politians :wink:)

    I think that I’m rambling a bit here, but it is late on a friday afternoon!
    Jon

    #8725
    Julian Hobson
    Participant

    http://www.dwp.gov.uk/asd/hobod/index.php?page=national

    have a look and take you pick of which PM your interested in.

    #8726
    seanosul
    Participant

    [quote:2d405535bc]The data in the database is submitted by LAs and is reported performance. While DWP officials work with LAs to ensure the validity and consistency of the data submitted, we cannot guarantee its accuracy.
    The data on DWP engagements is submitted by the engaging organisation and is updated weekly.
    Some Security related information is taken from financial data and in this case ‘0’ may mean not reported.
    Weekly Incorrect Benefit (WIB) data is not currently validated and may be inaccurate or inconsistent with other data sources. It is provided as supplied by the LA
    It should be noted that the revised overpayments indicators have only been in place for a year (April 2005), so this should be taken into account when viewing the data. Over time they will be a meaningful measure of overpayments recovery activity.
    [/quote:2d405535bc]

    #8727
    ralph
    Participant

    Just been looking through jmembery’s list and I’m confused by the comments on number 6
    [quote:9f4c5b4607]6) Staff are trained, and regularly reminded, what changes of circumstances count towards the stats and which don’t. (Particularly important with changes identified by interventions). [/quote:9f4c5b4607]

    Are you suggesting that cocs identified by interventions are not counted?

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