North Devon Council among top performing authorities for speed of processing housing benefit claims
09 June 2022
North Devon Council’s (NDC) housing benefits team have been commended for the speed in which they handle their customers’ claims. NDC administers housing benefit for the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and are monitored continuously to ensure accuracy and to prevent fraud and error. Some of the areas covered by the monitoring are the speed of processing new claims and changes in applicant’s circumstances.
The success was highlighted in the quarterly Housing Benefit Accuracy Award Initiative (HBAAI) meeting with the DWP which focusses on reducing fraud and error within the benefits system. It highlighted how the NDC team is among the top performers in the country for its speed of processing as well as reviewing its caseload with the aim of reducing fraud and error in the benefits system.
This is beneficial to North Devon’s housing benefit customers as applications are processed within a fast timeframe, paying the correct housing benefit accurately and on time.
Lead Member for housing at NDC, Councillor Nicola Topham says: “We are acutely aware of the negative impact of the energy price cap in April and anticipated further increases from October, alongside other increases affecting the cost of living generally. With the sharp increase in household bills, our council continues to deliver a fast and accurate service when processing housing benefit claims, to ensure our customers receive payment as quickly as possible.
“Our council has always been active in our efforts to keep people housed and the speed of processing housing benefit claims is an important aspect of the preventative works we have in place to help reduce homelessness.”
The DWP’s HBAAI team will be meeting with NDC again to highlight good practise and review the council’s processes to identify if any further improvements can be delivered within their service.