By Lorna Adams, Katie Oldfield, Jane Barlow and Alice Large
This piece of research was designed to feed into the overall evaluation of the Voice Risk Analysis (VRA) pilots. Piloting of the VRA process for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit claims began in late 2007 and was extended with a larger scale trial taking place through to the end of 2009. The research sought to collect qualitative evidence from staff, claimants and potential claimants on their views and experiences of the VRA process.
The primary objective of the research was to understand whether VRA is viewed positively or negatively and whether or not VRA was likely to deter those with a legitimate claim from making a benefit claim or whether a negative experience was likely to put off claimants continuing with their (valid) claim. The methodology consisted of a mixture of focus groups, in-depth interviews and site visits to local authorities and a call centre.