Media release - issued 08 Nov 2018

Council is top of the charts for processing Housing Benefit

Figures just published by the government show that Rushmoor Borough Council is the fastest council in the country for processing Housing Benefit claims.

The latest figures, released by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), and covering the quarter up to the end of October 2018, show that the council is top of two separate measures.

The team at Rushmoor Borough Council takes just one day to process a change of circumstances for Housing Benefit claimants. This is joint first, along with Bath and North East Somerset, and compares favourably to the national average of seven days. The worst performing council was Rother at 33 days.

For new claims, the council performs even better, achieving a clear first place for taking just four days to process claims. This is way ahead of the national average (23 days) and Hampshire (17 days). The worst performing authority was Redditch, which took an average of 83 days to process new claims.

The council has now been in first or second place in the quarterly audit comparison published by the DWP for the last six years.

Councillor Gareth Lyon, Rushmoor Borough Council's Cabinet member for Corporate and Democratic Services, said: "The benefits team have been consistently delivering a first class service to Housing Benefit customers for a long time - so hats off to them for their hard work. We are so grateful for their speed and accuracy in helping residents process their claims at what could be a very stressful time for them." 

Alex Hughes, Chief Officer for Citizens Advice Rushmoor, said:  "Having such a responsive and customer-focused service makes a huge difference to local people.  We know in Citizens Advice just how critical it is to get benefits paid on time, avoiding evictions, preventing homelessness and reducing anxiety. Our advisers are consistently impressed by the efficiency and helpfulness of the benefits team at Rushmoor."

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