Benefits backlog slashed

A BACKLOG of benefit claims that has caused havoc for residents in Ipswich has today been slashed.The backlog of around 5,000 housing benefit and council tax benefit claims was created in 2005 when Ipswich Borough Council installed the new Pericles computer system in their benefits department.

A BACKLOG of benefit claims that has caused havoc for residents in Ipswich has today been slashed.

The backlog of around 5,000 housing benefit and council tax benefit claims was created in 2005 when Ipswich Borough Council installed the new Pericles computer system in their benefits department.

A spokesman for Ipswich Borough Council today said the time taken to process new benefits claims had been slashed from 119 days to just 25 days and the backlog of existing claims has been cut from 5,000 to 700.

The time it will take to process claimants changed circumstances has also fallen from 45 days to 18 days.


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Nadia Cenci, the council's communities portfolio holder, said: “This is a real success story.

“Our collection rate of housing benefit overpayments has nearly doubled and our satisfaction levels are up to 94 per cent.

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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.”

Have you been affected by the back log in benefit claims? What do you think?

Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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