New online forms on Council’s website
Highland Council residents can now apply for Council Tax discounts and exemptions and report change of circumstances online with the launch of new online forms on the Council’s website.
The new forms allow customers to complete online rather than by paper when applying for council tax discounts/exemptions and to report changes that may impact on their council tax, housing benefit or council tax reduction. These new forms have an intuitive design and smart questioning that directs the customer on how to complete the form, reduces the amount of information the customer needs to provide and uses the information provided to assess for a variety of discounts from one form. As these forms are sent directly into other council systems, using online forms can speed up the processing time.
Highland Council is expanding the range of services available online as part of the Digital First programme, aiming to provide access to council services anytime, anywhere, on any device and to have 40% of transactions with customers online by April 2017.
The new forms have also opened up some new functionality. Evidence in support of applications can now be scanned in or photographed and attached to online applications, removing the need to provide original or paper copies. This functionality benefits customers as they can now complete online applications without the need to visit a service point. This functionality is currently only available for the new online forms, however there are plans to roll this out for other forms in the future.
Chair of the Council’s Resources Committee, Councillor Bill Fernie said: “Our website, which receives over 8,000 visits daily on weekdays, is very much customer focused. Users are able to have their own accounts where their details are pre-completed on forms to avoid having to re-enter information. The ability to now use more on-line forms will benefit customers as not only can we streamline work to become more efficient but the need to show original documents is removed so forms can be completed and submitted at any time of day or night.”
The Council’s website is available by visiting http://www.highland.gov.uk/