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Child Benefit

Volume 487: debated on Monday 26 January 2009

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer how long on average it took the Child Benefit Centre to process a (a) change of circumstances notification, (b) new application for benefit and (c) new application where the reason for the claim was other than a new birth in each of the last 12 months. (249025)

For information requested in (a), HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) aimed to process 95 per cent. of changes in circumstance within 10 working days in 2007-08. Performance results for January 2008 to March 2008 are as follows:

98.0 per cent. in January 2008

98.5 per cent. in February 2008

95.2 per cent. in March 2008

Performance information for 2008-09 will be available in due course. For information requested in (b) and (c), HM Revenue and Customs aimed to decide 69 per cent. of child benefit claims within five working days and 95 per cent. within 36 working days in 2007-08. Performance results for January 2008 to March 2008 are as follows:

71.9 per cent. within five working days and 93.9 per cent. within 36 working days in January 2008.

62.6 per cent. within five working days and 93.4 per cent. within 36 working days in February 2008.

60.4 per cent. within five working days and 90.7 per cent. within 36 working days in March 2008.

For the period from April 2008, I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave my hon. Friend the Member for Stroud (Mr. Drew) on 22 October 2008, Official Report, column 356W. Separate information is not available in the format requested.