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Improving our clients’ experience and access to support

The Government is committed to overhauling the welfare system in order to make it fairer and more inclusive, and to ensure that everyone is treated with dignity. This is also a priority for us at MSD.

We are committed to making it easier and less stressful for people to approach us for help, and to ensuring they can understand and access what they are entitled to.

We are building our understanding of whether everyone who is entitled to assistance is actually receiving it. In November and December 2018 we contacted more than 2,900 people who were not receiving, but seemed likely to be eligible for, Temporary Additional Support (TAS) [14] . The campaign increased uptake of TAS by around 10 percent. From July 2019 we will be getting in touch with around 3,000 people each month to encourage them to see whether they qualify.

In June 2018 we launched Check what you might get, a guide to eligibility for different types of assistance. The guide provides a quick, simple-to-use online platform to help clients work out potential eligibility and entitlement. In the year since the guide became available we have actively promoted its use through our partners and NGOs.

Since its launch we have made a number of improvements to the guide to make it more useful, and we are planning further work to enable information collected in the guide to be passed through to online application forms.

Feedback we have received from people who need our support confirms that we have continued to strengthen our service culture and improve people’s experiences of dealing with us. This contributes to mana manaaki, providing a positive experience every time.

We have improved how we communicate so that our messages are engaging and easy to understand, both in writing (we send 6 million letters a year to over a million people) and in our service centres. A welcome message appears in 11 languages on digital signage screens in all service centres. Clients can easily access information about what support they can get, and it is now easier to complete online application forms on mobile devices.

Our Better Letters project won two awards at the 2018 Plain English Awards: Best Plain English Sentence Transformation, and the overall award – Best Plain English Champion (Individual or Team).


[14] Temporary Additional Support is a weekly payment that helps people who do not have enough money to cover their essential living costs

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