Service deliveryDigital Customer ServiceSalford launches new self-service benefits advice website

Salford launches new self-service benefits advice website

A new website designed to make Salford residents Better Off – and deliver enhanced digital self-service has gone live

A new website designed to make Salford residents Better Off – and deliver enhanced digital self-service has gone live this week.

Launched by Salford City Council the website shows people which benefits they are entitled to and helps them apply for them online or launch appeals.

It brings together job adverts from several major online sites so people can apply directly and log their job search activities quickly and easily and even offers advice on childcare and energy grants.

Councillor Paula Boshell, Deputy City Mayor at Salford City Council, said: “We’re doing what we can to create a better and fairer Salford by tackling poverty and inequality and helping people to manage their money.

“Many people aren’t claiming benefits they are entitled to and are struggling to make ends meet as a result. The Better Off website allows users to run a quick and simple check to see if there is something they are entitled to and to submit a claim there and then.

“Once they’ve entered personal information, it will automatically complete parts of forms, to avoid the user having to keep repeating the same details.

“People can also check how moving into work will affect their finances and find information about how to budget and get help with any money worries or debts.”

Councillor Boshell said anyone who needs help to get online can get support through Salford City Council’s Digital You programme.

“The Better Off website is designed to complement, not replace face to face advice and support,” she said.

“If residents can find the information they want or complete a task through Better Off that saves them waiting for an appointment with our welfare advisors and frees up the advisors’ time to help people with more complex queries and problems.

“However if people do want to speak to someone then we’ve organised a series of Better Off coffee and chat sessions at our Gateway centres as well as on the Health Improvement Service Bus, which is out and about in Salford during August and September. One of the areas we will be offering help with is online applications for discretionary housing payment, which is extra money to help pay the rent.

“Moving it online means we can offer a quicker, easier and better service.”

In addition to the website, which was designed by Kirklees Council’s digital technology company and is being taken up by councils across the country, Salford City Council has introduced new scan zones at Gateway centres across the city. The new machines mean people can scan documents, such as those in support of benefits applications and attach them electronically to claims.

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