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House of Commons Hansard
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29 March 2010
Volume 508
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To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many and what proportion of income support claims took longer than the target processing time in each benefit delivery centre in each month of the last two years. [321451]

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The administration of Jobcentre Plus is a matter for the chief executive of Jobcentre Plus, Darra Singh. I have asked him to provide the hon. Member with the information requested.

Letter from Darra Singh:

The Secretary of State has asked me to reply to your question asking how many and what proportion of income support claims took longer than the target processing time in each benefit delivery centre in each month of the last two years. This is something which falls within the responsibilities delegated to me as Chief Executive of Jobcentre Plus.

Jobcentre Plus has a formal published target for the average actual clearance time (AACT) taken to process Income Support claims. Within any given month our benefit processing systems calculate the total number of claims we have cleared against the total number of days each of these cases have taken - this results in production of the AACT. The AACT target does not mean that all claims for that benefit should be processed within that time. This is because the target is based on an average which recognises that each individual customer's circumstances differ and by that very nature some cases will be easier/quicker to process than those that are more complex and naturally take longer to process.

On that basis, we are unable to provide the specific information in the manner you have requested.