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New DWP report on claiming JSA online

11 October 2013

An evaluation of the Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) Online Digital Trailblazers Phases Two and Three.

These were pilots to test different approaches to help drive up the take-up of JSA Online. This report follows on from the report on Trailblazers 1, 2 and 3 and covers Trailblazers 4 to 8. The report focuses is on Trailblazers 6 and 8, as these designs were close to the model that was subsequently rolled out nationally, and for which the richest evidence was collected.

Conclusions and recommendations of the report

  • It is possible to strongly direct claimants to the online service, as long as this is combined with support for those without access to the internet and/or the skills to use it.
  • It is also important to ensure web-based services are as usable as possible. Not only because this improves the service for the claimant, but because unclear questions lead to missing information that requires additional contact with the claimants during the processing stage, which increases costs.
  • DWP should monitor the support it provides claimants with poor IT skills, as increasingly they will need to transact with the Department online. Investing time to upskill these claimants should pay dividends throughout their claim.

The report makes no specific mention of any problems disabled people may have in accessing online services.

You can download the report at https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/jobseekers-allowance-online-digital-trailblazers-phases-2-and-3-evaluation

Citizen's Advice claim that 78% of claimants in a Universal Credit pilot area had problems completing online forms. For more information go to http://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/index/pressoffice/press_index/press_office-20131010.htm