We consistently pay around 80% of new claims in full and on time. In many cases, where full payment is not made on time by the end of the first assessment period, this is as a result of unresolved issues: some claimants have not signed their Claimant Commitment or passed identity checks, and the others have outstanding verification issues, such as for housing and self-employed earnings.
Verification is a necessary part of any benefits system, and taxpayers expect these measures to be in place; we have to make sure we are paying the right people the right amount. As the NAO report acknowledges, we have taken steps to improve verification processes. For example we have listened to feedback and built processes into the system to make it easier and quicker for people to verify their housing costs.
Whilst their verification is on-going, many of these claimants receive a part payment for those elements of the claim that have been resolved. We published an ad hoc statistical release on 9 July which showed, for new claims due a payment in February 2018, 95% were paid in full within five weeks of the payment due date.