WE are committed to making sure people get all the financial support they are entitled to through our new social security system. Key to making this happen is making sure the service is easily accessible to clients from application to appealing a decision.

We are working hard to ensure there are no barriers that might make it difficult for people to interact with us. This includes offering a range of routes that people can use to apply. This is a major divergence from what people may experience just now trying to access benefits through the Department for Work and Pensions.

Many DWP systems are old, standalone and paper-based, making them less responsive to the needs of individuals.

The DWP has also been accused in the past of pushing people to respond via particular channels – for example online for Universal Credit. It leaves little opportunity to speak to someone on the phone when people need assistance.

We’ve listened to those who have experience of the current UK system and we’ve responded by designing from the start a system which will allow people to apply in the way that suits them best – by post, by phone, online, or face-to-face.

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Our vision to have a service that responds to people’s needs, rather than expecting people to adapt to use our service, has been steadfast since the outset. This is why we have included a duty to adopt inclusive communication principles in the Act that underpins our social security system.

Inclusive communication takes into consideration everything from the way that someone may choose to apply, to the words we use on the application itself, right through to where you can find our staff based in your local community.

That is why, as part of our face-to-face offering, our staff are will be in venues in communities where people already visit and will be comfortable to be in. It’s why we are also happy to help someone apply from the comfort of their own home, should they need that.

A further way to make this process as open and simple as possible is by making sure our application form itself meets people’s needs. We test the content of this with people to make sure it is clear and understood and we have this available in a range of formats.

We have also kept the content of the forms to a minimum, only seeking information we need to make decisions and making sure that people know why we are asking a question.

It is things like this that will make our new service not only different but a better more accessible improved service than what’s come before.

It will be a service that enables anyone who needs it to access the benefits that they are entitled to and, importantly, will be part of a public service based on dignity, fairness and respect.