Time to process St Albans benefit claims slashed

St Albans City & District Council

St Albans City & District Council - Credit: Archant

Time taken to process new claims for benefit applications has more than halved and helped to clear an historical backlog at the district council.

In January it took St Albans district council on average eight days to process fresh claims and changes in circumstances for housing benefit and council tax support.

This was due to an increase of staff which has seen claims dramatically drop in comparison to last year when it took more than 20 days.

Latest figures also revealed there was a 40 per cent reduction in active cases from October 21 last year to February 2 this year.

The backlog of 285 claims recorded in October 2013 was reduced to 56, 150 of which were not processed as they were classed as awaiting information from the claimant.

Cllr Brian Ellis, portfolio holder for housing at the council, said: “New claims are now being worked on within one to seven days of receipt. This follows an increased investment in staffing which has helped clear an historical backlog in claims.

“We are also asking people to enclose all relevant documentation with their benefits applications. Thank you to everyone who follows this advice, as it helps us process their claims more quickly.”