Notifying clients of the case transfer process
We asked survey respondents and interview participants their views on how we should notify clients that their case will be transferred from DWP to Social Security Scotland.
We presented survey respondents with a list of possible points of contact and asked them whether or not they would be happy to be contacted at each of these points.
We asked respondents whether they would be happy 'Being contacted on the day Social Security Scotland takes over a benefit for new claims only. At this point you would be told that your case will be transferred in due course.'
The majority of survey respondents said they would be happy to be contacted at this point or that they didn't mind either way.
Table 7: Contact when the benefit goes live (n=531)
|I don't mind either way||29|
In interviews, participants spoke of how Social Security Scotland is an organisation that is unfamiliar to many. Some participants stressed the importance of not assuming Social Security Scotland will be an agency known to the general public. Participants suggested that clients should be provided with clear information that lists all the benefits that Social Security Scotland will take over and benefits that will remain with DWP.
We asked survey respondents if they would be happy 'being contacted three or four months before your case transfers to let you know your case will be transferred shortly.' Six in ten respondents said they would be happy to be contacted at this point (60 per cent) whilst around a quarter said 'I don't mind either way' (26 per cent.)
Table 8: Contact three of four months before transfer (n=533)
|I don't mind either way||26|
In interviews, the majority of participants said they would like to be contacted at this point. However, some participants questioned whether or not being contacted at this point was neccessary. Some participants suggested a national campaign that included information about the case transfer process on television, radio and newspapers would be a welcome addition alongside letters.
We then asked participants and respondents whether they would be happy 'being contacted one month before your case transfers to let you know the exact date of your transfer.' Over 8 in 10 survey respondents said they would be happy to be contacted at this point (85 per cent) whilst around 1 in 10 said 'I don't mind either way' (11 per cent.) Only 4 per cent of respondent said they would not be happy to be contacted at this point.
Table 9: Contact one month before transfer (n=540)
|I don't mind either way||11|
In interviews, participants said at this point in time they would like to know the exact payment date and the amount they were going to receive. Another suggestion was to cross check client's details before the transfer. It was also suggested that this point of contact should include an example of what the payment from Social Security Scotland would look like on a client's bank statement. Participants spoke of the confusion and anxiety it may cause if they were to see a payment from Social Security Scotland rather than DWP.
Finally, participants and respondents were asked whether they would be happy 'being contacted after your case has transferred to let you know your case has transferred successfully.' Just over 8 in 10 survey respondents said they would be happy to be contacted at this point (84 per cent.) 1 in 10 respondents said that they would not be happy being contacted at this point (10 per cent).
Table 10: Contact after your case has transferred (n=529)
|I don't mind either way||6|
In interviews, the majority of respondents welcomed this point of contact, saying that it would be helpful and provide reassurance that their case had transferred with no problems. However, some said that this letter would not be needed if they were to be paid correctly and on time.
We asked participants and respondents if there was anything else they would like to know at each of these contact points. Many respondents spoke about whether or not they would need to do anything as part of their transfer. This included resubmitting evidence and filling in more forms:
- "You need to know if there is anything you need to do at any of these points. This should be clearly stated at each point and if there is nothing you need to do then this should be stated"
- "Is there anything I have to do? Any form to fill in?"
Many respondents said they would like to know if their case transfer would involve another assessment:
- "I'd like to know what's involved, I.e. is it a straight transfer with an assessment in due course or a transfer and no assessment needed."
- "Would I need to have an new assessment to qualify or would current assessment dates stand?"
Survey respondents spoke of the need for contact details to be clarified so that they knew who to go to if they had a problem:
- "Somebody to contact either by phone / email or in person if I have any questions or problems"
- "Who I can contact if I need more information or require any help. Who to contact if something goes wrong."
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