Regardless of your political persuasion, our evidence suggests that demand for our services has increased as a direct result of the issues surrounding Brexit, and the time this has taken away from looking for solutions to the other issues facing the UK. In fact, in the last quarter of 2018 applications for grants increased by 40% year-on-year and there was a 12% rise in calls to our helpline. People are worried.
We are seeing an increased demand from applicants who have applied for Universal Credit, most facing weeks of uncertainty before receiving a payment. This leaves us wondering….. How can we help more people more quickly?
One practical thing we can do is to simplify the criteria around who is eligible for our help, which is why we have tweaked our eligibility criteria.
From now, to be considered for our help, you must either be working in the industry right now, or have worked in the industry for at least five years in your entire career. This replaces ‘Worked within the industry for either one continuous year in the past five; for seven years in their lifetime’ criteria which was both confusing some applicants and taking up vast amounts of time for our caseworkers to verify.
It might not sound much, but this simple change will enable us to more quickly respond to grant applications from people whose need is even more pressing than ever due to the current situation.
Of course, any change like this can’t just be implemented over night, so any grant application already received that qualified under the old criteria will still be processed.