Our dedicated Income team, who work year-round to support customers with their finances, are delighted to share that they have had a successful year.
The team have met and exceeded targets, responded to more than 2,300 referrals and gained £3.1 million in benefits to our customers. The work the team has carried out has caused a positive reduction in evictions and a collection rate of 100% has been achieved.
Our Income team work closely with customers to understand their situation and find a positive solution. A customer in one of our schemes recently sought support for a miscalculated over-payment of Pension Credit and one of our Welfare Benefits Officers helped them to appeal the case which resulted in no repayment necessary.
Similarly, two large families in single parent environments were subject to the benefit cap in Universal Credit, which meant they were falling into arrears, or left with £300 per month to support themselves and several children. One of our Welfare Benefits Officer’s recognised that they should be protected from the benefit cap for nine months because they had previously been a working family. He worked with the families and the DWP to achieve a favourable decision and the families were saved £4,050 and £2,654 respectively.
In one standout care, our Income Assistant helped a customer receive around £2,500 back; the customer’s son was disabled, and the DWP didn’t add the necessary elements to her award. Without his help and advice, the customer wouldn’t have been aware that she was entitled to this.
Support during Covid-19
Since the Government’s advice to stay at home the team have received 729 universal credit claims, averaging 173 per week. In contrast, the team usually receives 40 in a seven-day period.
By pulling together an redeploying colleagues where appropriate, the Income team have been able to triage all customers and give the correct support where required. Tenancy Sustainment and the Housing Admin team at Rother have been a huge help with this.
This support will continue through the recovery phase from Covid-19 and into the future.