https://gds.blog.gov.uk/2014/11/28/simpler-carers-allowance-digital-service-now-live/

Simpler Carer's Allowance digital service now live

The new Carer's Allowance digital service goes live today. If you have access to the internet it's now easier than ever to apply for Carer's Allowance. Here's a short film we've made about the service:

As you can see, the Carer's Allowance team in Preston has done much more than digitise the paper application form. By doing user research, and diving into the detail of the application process, the team has been able to remove 170 questions from the application process – that's 49% of the questions.

This is crucial because carers don't have a lot of time on their hands – a fact highlighted by service performance data which showed usage spikes in the small hours of the morning.

The service is part of government's transformation programme, and it's a great example of doing the hard work to make it simple.

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Transcript:

You can now apply for Carer’s Allowance using a simple online service
Pete Desmond, Service Manager Carer’s Allowance Digital Service
Carer’s Allowance is a benefit that’s provided to people who are really deserving in society. These are people who are looking after friends and family that are very ill, in some cases terminally ill, and it’s providing them with an income to help support the cost of caring for that individual. When having to deal with all these problems and all the other strife that’s going on in their lives, being able to claim Carer’s Allowance should be the least of their worries.
Kathryn Baxendale, Subject Matter Expert Carer’s Allowance Digital Service
The new service is to enable people to claim Carer’s Allowance online which is a much quicker and easier process than using the paper form.
Pete Desmond
We’ve been able to remove 170 questions from the process; that’s 49%, and we’ve done that because we’ve challenged the way that policy’s been interpreted on the claim form.
Kathryn Baxendale
Make sure that the customer can understand and progress through the claim, giving us the right information to make a quick decision on their application.
Pete Desmond
We’ve simplified things and cut things back to just the bare information that customers need, and we’ve done that via our user testing and research.
Mark Lambert, User Researcher Carer’s Allowance Digital Service
The service would not be up and running without the user research, to make sure that the participants, carers’ voice is at the heart of everything that we do. We’ve had people, less confident users, who by the time they get from the start of the claim through to the end, you can see them, they say this, “That’s so much better than I expected. I could go away and do that on my own now, it’s been so good.”
Kathryn Baxendale
Carers are busy people and these are some of the most vulnerable people in society, so if we’re supporting them by providing a really easy method of claiming Carer’s Allowance, then that to me has got to be a good thing because that’s what we’re here to do.