How your feedback has shaped the service

Claim forms:

  • The service has introduced new forms for return to work, change of address, and review of claims.  When designing them we asked for advice from Housing Associations, West Somerset Advice Bureau, visually impaired individuals, and with special needs.  As well as this we ensured that they met equality and diversity guidelines.
  • As well as this, the service has bought “e-benefits” software, which enables customers to apply for benefit either at West Somerset Council, or at home by using our website.  You can make the claim by answering a series of relevant questions, at the end of which it tells the customer exactly what evidence and information they need to provide. 

These two measures should improve the quality of the service’s forms

Speed of Processing Work

We analysed the first half-year of processing new claims and changes of circumstance, and found the following:

  Housing Benefits new claims Council Tax Benefit new claims Housing Benefit changes Council Tax Benefit changes
Customer Delay 12.1 days 11.32 days 4.14 days 5.74 days
West Somerset Council Delay  3.55 days  4.21 days  3.78 days  3.99 days


The major cause of delay is clearly customers supplying the relevant information and evidence for new claims.

What action have we taken?

  • All customers now receive a telephone call seven days after we have asked for further information.  During the call we will discuss exactly what we need, and we can resolve any problems.
  • We have amended and simplified the letters that we send seeking further information
  • The new “e-benefits software” will provide clear instructions about the evidence needed

None of these improvements would have been possible without your valuable feedback.

Please try to provide feedback on the service that we have provided you with, as this allows us to provide the service that you want