Calderdale residents can receive overpayments in error in the form of benefits.
It is obviously very upsetting when it does happen but it is important that any mistakes are corrected as quickly as possible in a respectful way.
The Benefits Recovery team try to deal with customers in a sensitive way.
Why we needed a change
Debt can be a very difficult subject and people often want to keep their personal affairs to themselves. We found that customers would like to speak to just one person rather than a different person every time they rang the office, this was not happening.
Each time a customer was calling a different member of staff had to read the file to make sure they understood the particular customer’s issues; this can mean that the customer is kept on the telephone for quite a long time.
We split up the list of customers so each member of the Benefits Recovery team had their own clients. This meant that the customer always spoke to the same person and that person knew what was going on.
Difference it made to the Council:
The members of the Benefits Recovery team preferred to know their customers and build a relationship with them.
By having a single point of contact we don’t have to keep repeating the same questions so the customers are more relaxed and get a better service.
Difference it made to local people:
"It’s nice to have one person I can talk to about my debts."
"It’s good to not have to keep explaining my circumstances as I speak to the same person every time."