Universal credit, council tax – a client story
People who can’t easily use the internet for normal household tasks can face a range of problems. Whatever the cause (they may not have the skills or equipment or anyone to help) this affects as many as a fifth of the population (Lloyds Consumer Digital Index 2021).
Here is the story someone we helped towards the end of last year.
Our client was the mother of 2 teenagers who was suffering from a rare neurological condition. Last autumn she felt she was eligible for several benefits and also wanted to communicate her unhappiness with recent medical treatment. So far however she had found the online processes impossible.
Our adviser helped with her application for Council Tax Income Discount, where it’s necessary to upload identity details before applying online. There was a problem too with her claim for Universal Credit, again because she hadn’t been able to lodge the required information. She had contacted Healthwatch about her treatment but failed to establish contact through the usual online/phone channels.
The adviser is still working with her and has asked Citizens Advice Research colleagues to see if the different organisations know the difficulty their policies can cause. In recent weeks she has seen a number of clients with similar problems and believes small changes might make their lives quite a lot easier.