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House of Commons Hansard
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Social Security Benefits
23 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions what the average processing time of applications for (a) jobseeker’s allowance, (b) housing benefit, (c) a crisis loan, (d) a community care grant and (e) a budgeting loan was in (i) each of the smallest geographical areas for which information is available and (ii) the UK in each quarter of the last five years; and if she will make a statement. [321454]

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Information regarding Northern Ireland is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

The available information has been placed in the Library.

Jobcentre Plus has a formal target for the average actual clearance time (AACT) taken to process jobseeker’s allowance claims. The two dates used to calculate this average are from the initial date of a customer’s contact i.e. their call to a Jobcentre Plus contact centre to the date a decision is made on their claim and a letter of eligibility is issued to them.

Jobseeker’s allowance data for 2005-06 are recorded down to district level. From 2006-07 the data are recorded at benefit delivery centre level which is now the smallest geographical area that can be provided. Jobcentre Plus does not hold quarterly AACT figures.

Housing benefit information has been provided from 2003-04 to 2007-08; the data quality for 2008-09 was not high enough for publication. The Department has been working with local authorities to improve data quality. This month we intend to publish processing time information for April to September 2009, for between 270 and 300 local authorities whose data meets Official Statistics standards.