To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions
(1) how long on average it took to process a claim for jobseeker's allowance in each (a) region and (b) Jobcentre Plus district in each month since November 2008; and if he will make a statement;
(2) how many unprocessed jobseeker's allowance claims there were in (a) total and (b) each region in each month since November 2008; and if he will make a statement.
The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus, Mel Groves. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.
Letter from Mel Groves:
The Secretary of State has asked me to respond to your questions asking how long on average it took to process a claim for Jobseeker's Allowance in each (a) region and (b) Jobcentre Plus district in each month since November 2008 and if he will make a statement; and how many unprocessed Jobseeker's Allowance claims have been made in (a) total and (b) each region in each month since November 2008 and if he will make a statement. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Acting Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.
The target for Jobseeker's Allowance (JSA) Average Actual Clearance Time (AACT) is 11.5 days. This is calculated from the customer's initial date of contact to the date a decision is made on their claim. Our benefit processing system calculates the AACT by taking the clearance time of each individual claim, using the dates as described, and calculates an average across the volume of claims processed. We no longer gather data at a district level but at Benefit Delivery Centre (BDC) level. Information on AACT since November 2008, in month, per region and BDC has been placed in the-Library.
Jobcentre Plus calculates the number of unprocessed JSA claims on a monthly basis by carrying out a count across the benefit processing system on the last working day of the month. On any given day a small number of claims will be in transit between offices, so the count will slightly understate the total number of unprocessed claims. Information on the number of outstanding claims since November 2008, in month, the total for Jobcentre Plus and per region has been placed in the Library.