Ideas that are being worked on by groups at #benefitscamp:
Themes the groups are working on (each bullet point is an idea from a post-it note, called out in the session or tweeted online):
1. Money saving and sharing: sharing resources through bulk buying, use of vouchers etc, transferring benefits, personal financial advice, an app to bring personal account together with benefits payments to allow for a real time flexible benefits system
- Community Benefits System – Devolve
- Benefits share/transfer – transferrable/tradeable benefits/points?
- Mutual activity
- Benefits to local capital growth/credit union
- Pooling online orders to benefit from vouchers e.g. £10 off £50 spend
- Personal finance apps – able to cope with disability benefits
- Savings through bulk buying, sharing savings (BOGOF, Multi-buys etc), delivery costs
- One account – live income and benefits account to support real time benefits
2. Personal data: data the public sector holds on you, give it back to individuals so they can help shape the services they receive
- How do we share information respectfully and simply?
- Give individuals their personal data to share
3. Local impact: role of councils in mitigating impact of changes, reality game to show what life is like on benefits
- Maps analysing / showing where money goes
- Localisation of the social fund: how should local areas respond?
- How can universal credit work now that council support is to be local
- How do we coordinate responses across boroughs?
- Government activity to mitigate changes – mutuals
4. Better communication / information: calculator to show what you’re entitled to, Quora style Q&A, methods to communicate changes, wiki for disabled people that wld incl national, regional & EU biz support & info
- @CreativeCrip: a FREE central wiki for disabled ppl that wld incl national, regional & EU biz support & info. All too patchy atm.
- “The Trap” reality game to show people how life really is on benefits to improve understanding and creative problem solving
- Request your access needs digitally
- Access info from a single point
- Honest advice service – some £20m goes unclaimed every year
- Ask a question/get an answer site – easy to find version of the info
- Opinions on benefits info (on the guides, not transaction) on the new beta test site (http://gov.uk – directgov replacement)
- Blackberry tool to help people understand what they’re entitled to
- Hub for integrating info and guidance e.g. HB toolkit
- “Myth-busting” through communciation
- Explaining the transition to claimants from current system to universal credit
5. Collaboration and peer to peer support: peer to peer support like Gransnet or Ask Jeeves, work with your advisors online
- @willperrin: check out how the crowd is already being used to tackle complex social/public policy problems http://tal.me.uk/9m
- Q&A platform a la Ask Jeeves but set up to facilitate peer to peer support
- Is there space for collaborative work between eg disabled people to work with work advisors online?
6. Skills and volunteering: time banking, community initiatives, give a skill skills brokerage, pathway to work from benefits, rethink what “skills” are and think more widely than traditional model
- How can this help to link people locally to social enterprise development and volunteering?
- “Should be better off in paid work…” but what about being on benefits adn on paid / volunteering work?
- “Give a skill” online skills brokerage run to facilitate people to get involved with social enterprises to provide your skill
- “Advantage me” – a card which supports time bank style community involvement with “nudges”
7. Jobs, flexible working and enterprise: be allowed to get income from work around benefits system, home working for people with disabilities, support for people to start their own business, post a profile of yourself and make employers find you, new types of jobs as old work models outdated, confidence-building to encourage people to have confidence to apply for jobs
- Home Work Net – “Bring your service back in house – Literally!” – Home Working
- Bring in an enterprise scheme, reduced or no rate for 2/3 years. Possible tax concessions
- People allowed to work flexibly on benefits – like consultancy
- You should be so lucky – profiles to show skills, employers come and find people – reverse recruitment
- Welfare/benefits sat nav. Given skills, it plots path through to desired job outcome based on what other people with similar skills have done
- How can the benefits system better reflect the changing patterns of work – FLEXIBLE
- How can we reduce the stress of the application process?
- @janetedavis: confidence-building to encourage people to have confidence to apply for jobs (using social media/web)
- @CathyAitchison: the concept of ‘jobs’ is outdated – need a way of thinking which counts/values all areas in a person’s life via a paid job, freelence, voluntary, care (family) – could an electronic system manage a person’s ‘credits’ of all kinds?
8. Better admin: how to run the current system better using online and things like benefits calculators, make it more user focused, less fraud and improve payment accuracy
- Jobvantage: improved better off calculation which takes skills, experience, household income and advises which jobs actually make you better off
- Reduce fraud and error so money goes to the right people in need
- How can we make payments more accurate and reduce under/over payments
- How do we make the process better for clients?
- Why is tax high then gets reimbursed with child benefit? Just don’t collect that tax in the first place.
- Online benefits application and self-serve
Change is happening in the way that benefits are being assessed and allocated, with recent discussions around benefits for people with disabilities and long-term health conditions, job seekers, families and others.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of the situation, this is going to be a bumpy ride for many who are affected by it. Time for us to get our heads together and think up some ways to plug the gap. And quick.
This event is for anyone up for helping fix/change/improve the benefits system - or even better create entirely new ways of doing things!
We need some good ideas for:
- making the current system better so people can get the most out of it
- making other things better so we keep the current system but have stuff like resource-sharing tools to complement it
- ways of totally disrupting the benefits system so people no longer need the state’s money
We need you if you are:
- someone with a good idea
- someone who knows about economics
- someone who knows about the benefits system
- someone affected by the changes
- someone with passion and enthusiasm for change
- a developer
- a designer
- a facilitator
Or indeed all of the above!
We now have our venue sorted at the Hub Westminster near Trafalgar Square in central London (so big thanks to them for partnering with us to make the camp possible). Accessibility is extremely important to us, so please do let us know about any requirements you might have or if you have any questions, but rest assured the venue is DDA compliant.
We’re also keen to open up the event to those unable to attend in person, so we’re exploring ways for people to get involved online. We’ll keep you posted on any developments and send you an email before the event telling you exactly where to come.
We’re hoping to find someone willing to help out with refreshments, including lunch as well as putting together a prize for the best ideas coming out of the day. Ideally this would be in the form of a small seed grant and some support for developing the ideas after the day.
Can you help?
If you can help us with any of the above – catering, the prize fund, or anything else you think would make the day amazing then please do get in touch with dom [at] wearefuturegov.com | carrie [at] wearefuturegov.com | denise [at] enabledbydesign.org