An overview of using the Entitled To benefits calculator

At the moment, it’s really important that we use our money wisely; this means not only taking advantage of all the money saving tips, but also maximising our income. One way of doing this is to find out if you are entitled to claim for any benefits.

As this can be a detailed and complicated process, we often refer people to a specialist in this area to do a full welfare benefit check.
An alternative option is to do research yourself, however you may not know where to start or what benefits are out there.

Entitled To is an online quick and easy benefits calculator you can use to check which benefits you can claim for.

Organisations can also use Entitled To to develop a benefits calculator tailored to their service users, for example the RNIB has developed a benefits calculator for those living with, or affected by, sight loss. This calculator requires the same information as the main Entitled To calculator, however there is also information and questions specifically designed for those living with, or affected by, sight loss.

Chris, one of our Digital Enablement Officers, put the benefits calculator to the test. Alice, our Digital Communications Officer who is also a totally blind screen reader user, also had a go with the calculator.

This blog gives an overview of its features, usability and accessibility.
You can find the links to the main Entitled To calculator and the RNIB Entitled To calculator, along with other useful information, at the end of this blog.

How does the benefits calculator work?

There are just seven sections which establish your total income and outgoings based on your individual, home and family circumstances.

Before you start, it would be useful to have information about your savings, income, pensions and existing benefits (for you, and your partner or anybody else you live with if applicable). Entitled To has produced a comprehensive guide detailing all the information you will need to use the calculator and get the most accurate results. A link to this is at the end of this blog.
Most of the questions can be answered by clicking a Radio button ( tick Box) and very little text needs to be input.

If you aren’t sure about any of the questions, you can select the “Help” links to get further guidance.

“I completed the benefits calculator and was surprised at how simple and straightforward the process was. The last section or RESULT gave me a suggestion of a benefit I may be eligible to apply for and a monthly amount I may be eligible to receive from this.”

Chris, Digital Enablement Officer

What makes this a great tool?

There are four factors that make this a great tool:

  • Anonymity – The whole process can be anonymous. This reduces any worries or anxiety around divulging personal information. If you use the main Entitled To calculator, you can create an account in order to save your calculations; this will require you to provide your email address, however you do not need to provide information like your full name or full address.
  • Speed – The process can be fairly quick. If you have  all of your information and figures available prior to starting, the process should only take you  10 minutes.
  • Save Button – If you need to take a break while completing the process, you can press a “Save” button and all the data you have put in will still be there when you return. If you use the main Entitled To calculator, you can create an account to come back to your calculation. If you are using a calculator specific to an organisation, you will be presented with a reference ID which you will need to make a note of before you navigate away from your calculation, and then enter this reference ID to continue.
  • Information – Within each page, there are links to get further advice and guidance around benefits and claiming for them. If using an calculator specific to an organisation, this will be tailored to specific clients. For example, the RNIB benefits calculator features links to information about benefits for people with sight loss.

How accessible is the calculator?

From an accessibility point of view, the site works well.
Each page was simple and clear with mainly text and only a few small icons, so easy to navigate. Text was large and clear, however the contrast could have been a little better.
The calculator worked well with various screen readers including JAWS, Narrator and VoiceOver.

Each section is labelled with a properly formatted heading, and all buttons are labelled.

Most of the options are selectable using radio buttons which can be activated using the various screen readers.

One thing to note, when testing with JAWS and navigating through the radio buttons, there was quite a bit of repetition, with radio buttons appearing to be present twice. This does not impact on the usability, but navigation of radio buttons could be more efficient.

What are our final thoughts?

Make sure that you are not missing out on any benefits you are entitled to. If you want to do a quick check on any benefits you may be entitled to, this is a great tool to start with. Remember, however this is just a guide, based on the figures that you input, and not a definitive entitlement statement.

Following this you may also want to use the RNIB Welfare Benefit Check Service for a more thorough deep dive into what you could be entitled to.

Useful Links

Visit the Entitled To website

Start an Entitled To benefits calculation

Start a calculation with the RNIB benefits calculator

Find out how to use the benefits calculator

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Find out more about living with sight loss with our hints and tips.

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