Greater Manchester Centre For Voluntary Organisation

Benefits Owl Project 2020

To develop an existing website to enable claimants and those assisting them to understand the benefits they are claiming together with interactive tools to help them to challenge decisions. The Project will be focused mainly on Universal Credit and PIP, and on increasing the website’s interactivity.

history Campaign has now closed

It ran from 12:00 AM, 1 May 2017 to 12:00 AM, 1 March 2020

open_in_new https://www.gmcvo.org.uk/

Registered Charity in England and Wales (504542)

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Situation

The combination of cuts to legal aid in 2013 and to local authorities’ resources over the last 5 years has had devastating consequences for the provision of advice. Web based resources about benefits are available, but some, like the Citizens Advice website, aim to provide comprehensive coverage and can be confusing: others, such as Benefits and Work, are largely subscription based. Claimants, and their helpers, therefore have an increased need for help in dealing with common benefit problems.

Solution

By making available a free website (http://www.benefitsowl.info/) that focuses on a relatively limited set of the most common benefit situations and problems and provides information about them in plain, everyday, English, and providing associated resources to help claimants express themselves to better interact with government agencies such as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).