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New HMCTS webchat service to give social security appeal guidance and support

16 September 2019

People using Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunal Service (HMCTS) website can now get immediate social security and child support and probate guidance and support online due to a new webchat service.

The pop-up window, which connects any user with a specialist team in one of HMCTS service centres, can be accessed from the ‘contact us section’ social services and child support (SSCS) service pages on GOV.UK - such as the Appeal a benefit decision page.

It enables both parties to message each other in real time, and means the user doesn’t need to leave the screen they’re working on to ask questions and get a response while they are using online probate or SSCS services.

HMCTS says that by linking the user directly to a dedicated team, it will be able to provide better guidance and support more quickly.

A transcript of the chat will be kept on record, alongside details of the claimant’s case, to help answer any future enquiries.

Users can also download a copy of their transcript or receive it by email.

Those using paper forms can also use webchat if they choose toby visiting the GOV.UK service page.

Jeannine North, HMCTS Service Centre services manager said:

“It’s all about offering people a choice. Everyone is different and we want to be able to offer a range of options so that people can choose to contact us in the way that best suits their needs.

Webchat has been introduced alongside: digital reforms which are creating online versions of some services (such as applying for probate and divorce); and our service centres which are centralising our administrative and support functions, bringing trained expertise together under one roof and using technology to support court users queries more effectively.”

For more information see New ways for people to access guidance and support @ www.gov.uk

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