Capita helps the London Borough of Bexley Council

Capita has helped the London Borough of Bexley achieve the fastest ever processing time of housing benefit new claims and changes of circumstances, outperforming national averages.

The time it takes to deal with new housing benefits claims achieved a record processing time of 12 days in the first 6 months of the 2017/18 financial year, representing a 30% improvement on the previous year and well below the national average of 22 days. The results place Bexley as one of the country’s fastest councils to process housing benefits. Meanwhile, the average time it takes to process a change in circumstances is now just nine days, a 36% improvement on the previous year.

The background

We have worked in partnership with the London Borough of Bexley since 1996, delivering a range of revenues & benefits services on behalf of the Council. Throughout our partnership we have invested over £6.5m in new technology, which has reduced manual processing by increasingly automating the service. The performance improvements have been supported by a series of digital initiatives which have redesigned the way the customer accesses housing benefits services, with a focus on digital channels and processes.

How we did it

We strive for continuous improvements within the delivery of the benefits service in Bexley. This year we have reviewed current working practices. The new process we have put in place allows our processing team to input new claim requests with sufficient evidence into our in-house system. These new claims are then processed whilst the customer gatherers further evidence required to support their claim. The customer is also able to upload their evidence online to further decrease the time it takes to be in receipt of their benefit. 

“Our partnership with Bexley Council focuses on continuous improvement. By reviewing our current working practices, the new processes we have put in place have allowed our teams to further drive down housing benefits processing times. In putting the customer at the heart of our operation, we have supported the Council in being one of the country’s top performers for housing benefits processing. Crucially, this is improving outcomes for residents by ensuring benefit claimants are receiving their correct housing benefit entitlements in a timely manner.”

Mark Chapman, regional director, Capita local public services

“To see continued improvements year on year since we have worked with Capita is really pleasing. These are the best ever processing rates for benefits which gives us the confidence we are serving those most vulnerable in our borough in the most efficient way, to best avoid any associated homelessness issues that can arise through delay of benefit payments”

Mark Underwood, Head of Exchequer Services, London Borough of Bexley