Benefit claims waiting period slashed

PEOPLE in Ipswich have seen the time it takes to process new benefit claims slashed, it emerged today.

PEOPLE in Ipswich have seen the time it takes to process new benefit claims slashed, it emerged today.

Ipswich Borough Council announced it had reduced the time it took for the new claims to be processed from 119 days to just 25.

It also said the backlog of existing claims has been cut by 5,000 to 700 and the time to process claimants' changed circumstances had fallen from 45 days to 18 days.

The council's September 2007 figures also showed the percentage of new claims outstanding for more than 50 days is down to below two per cent and the accuracy figure is 98pc.


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Ipswich Borough Council's communities portfolio-holder, councillor Nadia Cenci, said the figures showed the council had "turned things around".

She added: "This is a real success story. Our collection rate of housing benefit overpayments has nearly doubled and our satisfaction levels are up to 94pc.

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“I am proud of what we have achieved and by the energy and dedication of our staff to deliver excellent customer service.

“There is more to do and we are well on target to further reduce turnaround times but these results are a transformation, recognised by the number of letters we are getting which compliment the service."

Does more need to be done to improve the efficiency of the benefits system? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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