Universal Credit is going to be one of the first benefits to be claimed predominantly online, the DWP states that;
“Claims will be made on the basis of households rather than individuals and both members of a couple will be required to claim Universal Credit. Claims for Universal Credit will normally be made through the internet and we expect that most subsequent contact between recipients and the delivery agency will also be conducted online. People will be able to obtain all elements of Universal Credit through a single application, ending the excessive form filling of the current system, reducing scope for error and reducing administration costs.”
This sounds like a promising idea in principal, but is Britian geared up to handle this? Will free WIFI be available across the UK by 2013? – probably not. Will claimants feel confident enough to make claims through an online system? Will the software be in place to handle the millions of claims? Lets hope that proper support will be available for everyone claiming Universal Credit and not just for online claimants.
See our news archives section for Joe Harley’s comments regarding the DWP software project “Government CIO hits back at critics of key DWP and HMRC projects”
Frank Field, the coalitions “Poverty Czar” gave an interview to the Guardian about the IT implentation of Universal Credit, read the full story here
Goerge Osborne has spoken of the need for getting the Universal Credit IT system right from the beginning he stated “We are designing the universal credit system with online delivery in mind right from the start – not as an expensive afterthought”.