Social Security Benefits

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 4th February 2015.

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Photo of The Bishop of St Albans The Bishop of St Albans Bishop

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what progress has been made to implement the changes announced in December 2014 to provide more information about Short Term Benefit Advances online and in Jobcentres and to update the guidance on Short Term Benefit Advances for Jobcentre advisers.

Photo of The Bishop of St Albans The Bishop of St Albans Bishop

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what procedures they have put in place to monitor the effectiveness of changes to the information and guidance provided on Short Term Benefit Advances in helping to raise awareness of Short Term Benefit Advances among potential claimants.

Photo of The Bishop of St Albans The Bishop of St Albans Bishop

To ask Her Majesty’s Government when they will evaluate the effectiveness of changes to the information and guidance provided on Short Term Benefit Advances in helping to raise awareness of Short Term Benefit Advances among potential claimants.

Photo of The Bishop of St Albans The Bishop of St Albans Bishop

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether changes to the information and guidance provided on Short Term Benefit Advances have led to an increase in the number of applications for Short Term Benefit Advances.

Photo of Lord Freud Lord Freud The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

The Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, the Rt. Hon. Iain Duncan Smith, set out on 8 December 2014 (Official Report, column 633) how the Department for Work and Pensions will be doing much to raise awareness of Short Term Benefit Advances (STBAs). This will include providing more information to claimants about STBAs online and in Jobcentres. Staff guidance on STBAs will also be updated and staff reminded of the process for considering an STBA.

The department has already undertaken testing of the posters and messaging with a small number of staff and claimants. We have also asked the Social Security Advisory Committee to review these customer communication products before they are introduced.

Once the products have been introduced we will, of course, closely monitor their effectiveness and impact, including on the number of requests for STBAs.

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