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Social Security Benefits

Work and Pensions written question – answered on 18th January 2011.

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Photo of Yvonne Fovargue Yvonne Fovargue Labour, Makerfield

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average time taken to process notification of changes of circumstance of benefit claimants (a) resident in Makerfield constituency and (b) nationally was in the latest period for which figures are available.

Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Jobcentre Plus monitor the average time taken to process changes of circumstance via internal measurement indicators using an Average Actual Clearance Time (AACT) for each benefit.

AACT measures the average number of working days we take to process changes of circumstance. The measure starts when the notification is received in Jobcentre Plus and ends when the relevant details have been recorded.

You have asked for details for claimants resident in Makerfield constituency these are not processed at Makerfield Benefit Delivery Centre (BDC) they are dealt with by Bolton BDC. Makerfield BDC processes claims made in London.

The following table shows the latest AACT performance for changes of circumstance at both a national level and for those processed in Bolton BDC.

Change of circumstance : Average Actual Clearance Time
Working days
April May June July August September Octobe r November December Year to date
Employment and support allowance 3.4 2.8 2.8 3.0 3.0 2.9 3.2 3.3 3.0 3.3
Incapacity benefit 4.5 7.1 4.9 3.3 4.2 4.8 3.9 3.5 3.2 4.6
Income support 2.1 2.0 2.0 2.2 2.2 2.0 2.0 2.1 1.9 2.1
Jobseeker's allowance 3.6 3.4 3.1 3.0 2.9 2.9 3.1 3.1 2.9 3.5
Bolton BDC
Employment and support allowance 2.8 2.6 3.0 2.4 4.3 4.0 3.7 3.2 3.1 3.2
Incapacity benefit 1.0 1.0 1.2 1.1 1.4 1.5 1.3 1.0 1.0 2.0
Income support 2.9 3.2 3.7 3.4 2.5 2.8 2.8 2.9 2.7 2.8
Jobseeker's allowance 3.1 3.6 3.4 2.9 3.1 3.1 3.1 4.0 4.4 3.8
Source: Management Information System Programme (MISP). MISP is the departmental performance management, data capture and reporting tool. This type of internal management information does not form part of the official statistics outputs that are released by the Department in accordance with the UK Statistics Authority's Code of Practice.

In PDCS we have taken your question to mean what is the average number of working days it takes us to process a notification of change of circumstances. The way in which management information is captured means that we are unable to provide what the average time taken to process notification of changes of circumstance of benefit claimants resident in Makerfield constituency. However we are able to provide information nationally in the following table:

Year to date Average Actual Clearance Time, as at December 2010
Business event Days
Pension credit changes 6.5
Disability living allowance supersessions 39.0
Disability living allowance SofS supersessions 25.0
Disability living allowance maintenance 2.3
Attendance allowance supersessions 24.5
Attendance allowance SofS supersessions 26.2
Attendance allowance maintenance 1.9
Carer's allowance maintenance 8.9
Notes: 1. A supersession is where the customer raises questions about entitlement to DLA/AA e.g. there has been a change of circumstances and they require more help with personal care or getting about. 2. A Secretary of State Supersession (SofS) is undertaken when information is received that raises questions about a customer's entitlement to DLA or AA. 3. Maintenance is where the customer reports a change of personal circumstances such as a change of address or bank account etc. 4. The Average Actual Clearance Time (AACT) target measures the average number of days we take to process changes of circumstances. The purpose of the target is to make sure that our customers' changes of circumstances are processed in a reasonable length of time. 5. The AACT is calculated by dividing the total number of days taken to clear cases by the total number of cases cleared. Example: Total number of working days taken to clear cases is 150; total number of cases cleared is 50. Therefore the average clearance time is 150/50 = 3. Source: Department for Work and Pensions-PDCS Management Information Statistics.

Information for the average time taken to process notification of changes of circumstances for state pension changes is not captured however we can tell you that the target is 95% in 15 days and the year to date figure for December 2010 is 94.9%.

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