New tool: heating compensation to reach the residents faster

A new tool developed by the State Data Agency at the initiative of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour of the Republic of Lithuania helps to automate the procedure for granting compensation for housing heating costs. The tool is intended to speed up the process of granting heating compensation and other monetary social assistance to the residents.

“We aim to ensure that compensation for housing heating costs and other social support reach deprived persons as quickly as possible and relieve them of their financial burden. Therefore, we have initiated the creation of a new electronic tool which will contribute to this objective. It is expected to reduce the time of the processing of applications for monetary social support several times", says Monika Navickienė, Minister of Social Security and Labour.

“We often hear that public institutions are slow and inefficient. Together with the State Data Agency team, it has been our striving for many years to break these stereotypes by our work. This time, we have taken on the task of modernising a service that is very relevant to the country’s residents – the compensation for heating costs. The tool we have developed should significantly reduce the application processing time for the employees of the municipalities. This will allow the compensations to reach the recipients more quickly”, notes Dr. Jūratė Petrauskienė, Director General of the State Data Agency.

The new tool will allow municipal staff to find in one place all information from various registers and information systems necessary to make a decision on granting monetary social support. This tool will be used not only for the purpose of granting heating compensation but also other social support. The new tool will automatically collect relevant information about the applicant for compensation, such as income, marital status, place of residence, etc.

Until now, municipal staff used to spend 20–30 minutes checking a single application, reviewing all the relevant records separately and manually entering the data needed for granting the support.

“Every year, when submission of applications for heating compensation started, there were long queues in the municipality’s waiting room. The employees were physically unable to serve people and there was a feeling of extreme fatigue. The new tool will allow this service to be carried out several times faster, the residents will be served more efficiently during this period, and the support will reach them sooner", says Simona Bieliūnė, Vice Mayor of Vilnius City.

For the development and update of the tool, data from various systems and registers are used: the Population Register, Real Estate Register, Sodra, Employment Service, National Agency for Education, etc.

From 15 November, the new tool has been used by the municipalities of Vilnius, Joniškis, Marijampolė, Vilkaviškis, Alytus and Klaipėda districts. From 1 December, it is available to all the municipalities. In the first week, 3 times more applications than usual have been processed. Two thirds of municipalities have started using the tool by today.

From the beginning of September until the end of November, 190,9 thousand applications for heating compensation were received, of which around 73 per cent have been already granted.