Telephone change of circumstances

Currently, there are 0 users and 1 guest visiting this topic.
Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #32002
    karencutter
    Participant

    Hi

    If we accept benefit change of circumstances over the telephone, we are aware that you need to have a designated number for the purpose.

    Does this mean that the number ,must not be used for any other purpose, or can it be a general Housing Benefit line?

    #89458
    Kevin D
    Participant

    [quote:2f8688d7d9=”karencutter”]If we accept benefit change of circumstances over the telephone, we are aware that you need to have a designated number for the purpose.[/quote:2f8688d7d9]

    This is a myth. [b:2f8688d7d9]HBR 88(1)(b)[/b:2f8688d7d9] makes it clear a LA can accept notification of a change in circs by any means – irrespective of whether or not there is a designated number.

    #89459
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Like Kevin says it’s a myth, but there is a serious point to it which I think was the intention of DWP when they issued their guidance. If you are going to rely on telephone notifications, without getting the customer to follow up in writing, you have to have some method of recording the calls and keeping the transcripts for up to six years. You can use any line you like but obviously a dedicated line makes it easier operationally, particularly as customers have to be told their call is being recorded and they might kick up about that if they’ve just phoned up to ask when they will be paid over Christmas! But what happens if they phone up on your unmonitored line?

    #89460
    Kevin D
    Participant

    If the reference to recording calls means taping and storing the actual telephone conversations, there is nothing in law that requires this in order for a LA to accept notification of a change in circs by phone. A contemporaneous written note (whether stored electronically or otherwise) is sufficient. In fact, strictly speaking, so is a verbal recollection, but obviously it isn’t practicable for staff to commit the content of every call to memory.

    In short, it’s all down to the quality of record keeping, whatever means is relied upon by the LA when retaining information.

    NB: Bear in mind a clmt can refuse permission to have a call recorded.

    #89461
    Anonymous
    Guest

    Kevin is right, there is nothing in law, but if your clt has told a porky pie (“My partner’s moved out”) the telephone transcript is your evidence. Alternatively it can work the other way (“I phoned up and told you…). DWP record all their telephone calls.

    #89462
    jmembery
    Participant

    We record all our telephone calls and have for some time. Not had a single person complain about the fact calls are recorded. It happens in so many walks of life now that people are quite used to it.

    It is amazingly helpful. Only been an issue in one appeal but has featured in a number of complaints where customers say they were mis-advised or that we promised to do something that we then didn’t do. (In one case the customer was quite correct we had promised something then didn”t deliver).

    Saying all that, I do agree with Kevin, you don’t actually [u:9ea7021dce][b:9ea7021dce]need [/b:9ea7021dce][/u:9ea7021dce]recorded calls, but I would imagine they are really useful if there is an fraud case that goes to court.

    #89463
    Kevin D
    Participant

    [quote:7a072c5a20=”Chris Dring”]DWP record all their telephone calls.[/quote:7a072c5a20]
    …and despite this, their staff still can’t record data on their systems accurately. When it all hits the fan, try getting a copy of the call…. It makes squeezing blood from a stone seem like a doddle.

Viewing 7 posts - 1 through 7 (of 7 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.