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Pension Credit: Administrative Delays

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of new pension credit claims were not processed within 15 days in (a) 2006-07 and (b) 2007-08. (244540)

While the majority of claims are processed within the actual average clearance time target, there are some cases where it is necessary to request additional information from the customer to ensure they get all the money to which they are entitled.

The time taken to process a claim does not affect the start date of payments. Payment will be backdated to the point the claim was first submitted.

People should claim as soon as they think they are eligible. From October customers can claim four benefits in one free phone call: state pension, pension credit, council tax benefit and housing benefit. In some circumstances, we will also arrange face to face visits to help with completion of the claim.

The information available is in the following table.

Pension credit clearance times

2006-07

2007-08

Target—AACT (days)

10

15

Total processed

334,501

280,097

Not processed within target

68,142

83,182

Not processed within target (percentage)

20

30

AACT (days)

11.9

15.6

Note:

AACT—Actual Average Clearance Time.

Source Data:

Pension Service Legacy System