Let’s define our terms first, or separate apples from oranges. Intake - the process by which a legal non-profit uses to accept or reject clients based on articulated criteria. It includes data collection, review, acceptance or denial, notification to the applicants, and referrals for all. Online application tool : An online form that collects information. Online intake system : Tool plus all other components and resources that are required to process the application. Could include staff, a database, a staging area not integrated into the regular case management system, a call back queue, web chat to support the application, etc.
Are you doing online intake? If so, how long has your program had online intake?
12 states have had online intake for over a year. With some like OH since 2004 and AL since 2009. CO and WA as newer models that just launched this past spring.
When online intake started, was mainly HTML forms that collected some information and sent by email to the program. Much like leaving a voicemail message. As the map shows, the trend now is to integrate online intake directly with CMS systems. Sends the intake to a holding pen for conflicts and eligibility checks, and then moves the intake into the CMS as a case if qualified. Last year’s online intake webinar looked at how some states are doing this through PDF or A2J. Also LSNTAP created an online intake guide on their site that walks folks through options. We are also now starting to see triage interviews integrated into online intake systems, in an attempt to provide each user with helpful information, regardless of whether they qualify for services or call for follow-up. You will hear from UT about their triage system in a bit, and IL, our Other on this map, received a TIG grant to develop their statewide online intake system using custom rules-based technology. Before we dig on longer term outcomes, let’s look quickly at an initial experience of the triage model to keep in mind you hear from the programs who have had online intake for years. Seven months ago NJP launched a very robust triage online intake system using A2J integrating with Legal Server. Despite its recent launch, their model is already being replicated by other programs.
TIG grant to integrate a A2J interview with their Legal Server CMS. WA already had centralized intake statewide via CLEAR hotline. We have been up and running for 7 months. Our system triages the users: sends those to other websites for cases we do not handle; rejects those who do not qualify financially or by type of case W only call those people back who had a denial of benefits case or eviction. (eviction cases must go thru the full financial screening on line first to make sure they qualify). These are our targeted populations. All users are given resources at the end of the interview regardless of outcome. We do not ask either citizenship or adverse party questions- these are asked by the a screener if they eventually call us or are called back. (call backs are same day or day after)
6514 people have completed or attempted to complete the ATJ interview online 704 were callbacks (they were informed that we would call them as they are high priority cases- denial of benefits or eviction) as well as given resources. The benefits cases were not financially screened online but screened by the non-atty screener. 3710 were instructed by the system that they probably qualified and to call us on the regular CLEAR hotline as well as given resources 1980 did not qualify and were instructed not to call us but given alternative resources. 1049 of the 4534 (6514 minus 1980 who did not qualify) cases were brought into NJP’s database and these clients were helped. 474 were call backs- we called them. (so 67% of those that were callbacks did qualify and were helped) 575 who were told to call us, did call and were helped (15% of 3710 )
Staffing model added one more full time screener- all screeners agree that the interview for those who have completed the app on line takes half the time. We have a user survey –600 people have completed. Here are the highlights: 63% came directly to the online app and did not attempt to call the CLEAR hotline first 85% agrees that it is easy to use (A2J) 47% had family law problems (which we do not call back- they need to call the hotline after completing the app) 18% consumer and 15% housing 41% found resources/docs/website links presented at the end useful, 44% have not used them yet 2 most common comments: 1. You did not let me explain my problem. This is done by design as they will talk to a human screener either in a call back or by calling us 2. Hotline phone lines were busy and could not get through. People initially were confused about when we would call them and when they needed to call us so wee make a short video. This has been viewed by 1750 people to date. The thumbnail is right above the link to start the app on NJP’s website.
Ohio first started online intake in 2004, then moved to A2J model in 2009. Utah launched in June 2011. Alabama first started online intake in 2009.
An on-line application will be imported into Legal Files. The Applicant will be contacted by phone or email, a conflict check performed, and all information verified in Eligibility Wizard – including the number of persons in the household and the household income. The appropriate Checklist related to the facts of the case and Intake Notes will be completed during intake process. The completed file will be sent to Staff Attorney James Chipley for counsel & advice or brief service. Should Attorney Chipley be unavailable or working at case handling capacity then the next available online attorney will be assigned the case. If the Applicant cannot be contacted on the first attempt, then the Intake Paralegal or Intake Screener will be assigned as File Manager 1, a 3-Day To Do Reminder will be set to attempt contact with Applicant again. After reasonable attempts, the Intake Paralegal or Intake Screener will consult with the Call Center Director for a plan of action.
The on-line application will be imported into Legal Files. The Applicant will be contacted by phone and/or email, a conflict check performed and all information verified in Eligibility Wizard (including number in Household and Household income). The appropriate Checklist and Intake Notes will be completed during the intake process. The case file will be sent to the local office with jurisdiction once the intake is completed. If unable to reach the Applicant, the Intake Paralegal or Intake Screener will be assigned as File Manager 1; a 3-Day To Do Reminder will be set to contact the applicant again. After reasonable attempts, the Intake Paralegal or Intake Screener will consult with the Call Center Director for a plan of action.
The application will be imported into Legal Files. The Applicant will be contacted by phone and/or email, a conflict check performed and all information verified in Eligibility Wizard (including number in Household and Household income). The VLP Checklist and Intake Notes will be completed during the intake process. The case file will be sent to the next Call Center attorney in rotation for counsel & advice. The VLP documents and the compliance form will be sent to the Client and the documents to be returned to Pamela Flynn. If unable to reach applicant, the Intake Paralegal or Intake Screener will be assigned as File Manager 1; a 3-Day To Do Reminder will be set to contact the applicant again. After reasonable attempts, the Intake Paralegal or Intake Screener will consult with the Call Center Director for a plan of action.
2012 Online Intake webinar
Evaluating Online Intake: What are we learning? September 19, 2012
What We Will Cover Today• How programs have implemented online intake• What more experienced programs are learning about the impact of online intake Moderator: Allison McDermott Deputy Director, Pro Bono Net Join the conversation via Twitter hashtag #lsntap
Are you doing online intake?Let’s take a poll to find out!
Who is doing online intake? Just over 50% of the states have at least one legal aid program using online intakeFrom: http://lsntap.org/content/online-intake-and-online-screen-systems-0, as of March 2012.
When did they launch?Less than year agoMore than a year ago
What tech are they using? A2J HTML ASP or PHP PDF CMS Integration A2J CMS Integration ASP CMS Integration OtherFrom: http://lsntap.org/content/online-intake-and-online-screen-systems-0, as of March 2012.
NJP: 7 Months In• Triages online intake users: – sends those to other websites for cases NJP does not handle – rejects those who do not qualify financially or by type of case – only call back those people who had a denial of benefits case or eviction – All users are given resources at the end of the interview regardless of outcome
Demand is Huge• 6394 people completed online interview 704 called back by NJP as high priority cases 3710 told to call as they might qualify 1980 told not to call as they did not qualify and given other resources • 1049 became NJP cases and were helped 474 were callbacks (67% of callback eligible) 575 had been told to call (15% of possibly eligible)
Already Learning• Phone screening interview for online intakes takes staff half the time.• People initially confused about when NJP would call them vs. when they should call.• 41% found resources useful; 44% did not use the resources.
Let’s Hear from Our Learned PeersDebra JenningsManaging Attorney, Legal Aid Line, ABLE and LAWOCraige HarrisonAttorney, Utah Legal ServicesWilliam Guyton, Jr.Information Technology Manager, Legal Services AlabamaRobert StroudCall Center Director, Legal Services Alabama
ABLE and LAWODebra JenningsManaging Attorney, Legal Aid Line
Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) and Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO) are nonprofit regional law firms that provide high quality legal assistance in civil matters to help eligible low-income individuals and groups in western Ohio achieve self reliance, and equal justice and economic opportunity. Legal Aid Line is a project of ABLE in partnership with LAWO.Legal Aid Line provides intake, brief service and referrals to eligible online, walk-in, and telephone applicants for legal assistance.
LAWO and ABLE Service AreasABLE and LAWO have officesserving 32 counties in northwestand west central Ohio.Approximately 351,268 low-income people live in northwestand west central Ohio.
By the NumbersRequests for Assistance in 2011 Intake Access Points•Approx 32,000 requests for assistance •Walk In o 3% of total intake traffic•Approx 25,000 applications for assistance •Telephone (Automatic Callback System) o 60% of total intake traffic •Online o 37% of total intake traffic o Online application option since 2004 o A2J online application since August 2009
Intake ModelOriginal Staffing Model: Walk In Telephone 11 FTE Intake Specialists Online 1 FTE Intake Manager Applicant 6 FTE Equivalent Attorneys 2 FTE Equivalent Contract Attorneys 1 FTE Supervising Attorney 1 FTE Managing AttorneyOriginal Hours of Operation: Intake Specialist Walk In: M – F 9am – 5pm Telephone: M - F 9am – 4pm Online: 24 hours/day; 7 days/week Attorney
Applicant Demographics - GenderWalk In – 50% Male – 50% Female Online – 72% Female – 28% MaleTelephone – 60% Female – 40% Male
Applicant Demographics - EducationWalk In – 50% High School diploma – 20% “Some” high school Online – 15% “Some” college – 43% High School diplomaTelephone – 28% “Some” college – 44% High School diploma – 13% “Some” high school – 23% “Some” high school – 18% “Some” college
Applicant Demographics - Other• Geography – Overall applications - county of origin • 58% urban • 42% rural – Online applications - county of origin • 59% rural • 41% urban• Computer Access – 66% Home – 16% Friend or Relative – 7% Social Service Agency – 4% Library – 3% Government – 4% Other
A2J Online Intake Efficiencies & Opportunities• “Intake process” shortened by approximately 10 – 15 minutes – Consistently accurate information – “Verify” vs. “Collect”• Average time to attempt first contact with online applicants – 24 hours (1 business day)• Online applicants receive helpful information based upon the legal problem selected from the A2J intake interview options and their county of residence through a software program link - ClientsWin• Online Intake Traffic - Peak Times – Afternoons; Evenings; Weekends• What’s next? – “How” client population is accessing the internet
A2J Online Intake “Surprises”• A2J online intake significantly reduced multiple attempts to “get through” to Legal Aid Line through available access points• Applicants with emergencies/deadlines continue to apply online despite “warnings” – Modified the online application review process to accommodate• Managing online applicant expectations – Initial contact is an Intake Specialist vs. an attorney• Online applications – Total traffic has actually “decreased” – Meaningful traffic has “increased”• Telephone applications – More efficient handling – Reduced wait time
Staffing: 3 Years Later• By Design – HR Impact • Saved 0.5 – 1.0 FTE – Opportunity to shift FTE resources from online application processing to telephone processing and other projects
Staffing: 3 Years Later• Staff Reductions – Economic Downturn – New Staffing Model • 8.5 FTE equivalent Intake Specialists • 1 FTE Intake Manager • 3.3 FTE equivalent Attorneys • 1 FTE Supervising Attorney • 1 FTE Managing Attorney – New Hours of Operation • Walk In – M – F 9am – 5pm • Telephone – M – F 9am – 2pm • Online – 24 hours/day; 7 days/week
Utah Legal Services► Statewide organization ► Statewide since 1976 ► <50 Employees ► 4 offices, Utah’s geography ► About 20,000 requests for assistance annually ► Staff of 4.3 FTE intake workers, 3.3 bilingual in Spanish ► A focus on providing an equal level of service statewide
Online Intake System► A2J guided interview/Kemps CMS ► Triage for Residency, Problem Type & LSC eligibility ► Holding table for online data ► Reviewed with clients ► Imported to appropriate table (Eligibility vs Full)
Triage System► Online applications ► 433 unique page views last month ► 87 actual submissions► Online vs Telephone Eligibility screening ► Full cases: 64% vs 47% ► LSC Eligibility: 87% vs 55%
Other results► Eligibility screening time decreased ► Queue times: 10 minutes from 12 minutes ► Anecdotal: As much as half► Greater availability ► Urban vs Rural (55/45 vs 63/37) ► Hard of hearing ► DV victims ► Temporarily out of the country, etc.
Discoveries► Putting onus on applicant ► About 15% don’t follow through ► Instituted a “call” reminder which decreases it to about 5%► Call back appointments – About 30% don’t answer . . .► Soft Financial Data ► Many misinterpret houshold/income questions ► Other Data seems fairly accurate
Overview• Launched in October 2009• Uses Form Router (PDF) to send info into Legal Files CMS for Call Center staff• http://intake.alsp.org/
Call Center Policy DirectiveCall Center Policy Directive 2012-1 is issued to maintainaccountability and a continuous record of the progressand status of each case received through the on-lineapplication process. Each on-line application isdelegated to one of the following categories.
Impact on Intake Overall• From 9/11-8/12, LSA had 13,962 total accepted cases – 53% field office walk-ins – 28% telephone hotline – 10% other (partner referrals, out of state referrals, former clients, etc.) – 9% online
The 9%• 1,287 cases accepted• 72 cases rejected• 542 cases referred to pro bono partner
Lessons from LSA• Online intake form must evolve – Now on 4th version of form• So must the technology – Moving to HTML form now, away from PDF – Integrate with new Legal Server CMS• Web stats show increase in mobile usage
Still have questions?Debra JenningsManaging Attorney, Legal Aid Line, ABLE and LAWO419-255-0814, email@example.comCraige HarrisonAttorney, Utah Legal Services801-924-3382, firstname.lastname@example.orgWilliam Guyton, Jr.Information Technology Manager, Legal Services Alabama(334)328-8685, email@example.comRobert StroudCall Center Director, Legal Services Alabama(334) 832-4570, extension 3021, firstname.lastname@example.org
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