Benefits and support The benefits service: our data

How the benefits service is performing

Dealing with new claims and changes

We keep track of our performance and report on it to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The DWP oversees all local authority benefits services in the UK. They have two performance indicators to make sure we deal promptly with:

  • new claims for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support; and
  • changes that affect customers getting these benefits.

We regularly count how long it takes us to deal with new claims and changes, and we publish the results every three months. The table below shows the figures available so far for the current financial year. Senior managers set the target figures we aim to achieve.

'Days to process new claims' is normally the average number of days between the date we receive a claim in our office and the date we make a decision on the claim.

'Days to process changes' is the average number of days between the date we were told about the change and the date we dealt with it, if we were told about the change after it happened.

If we were told before the change, but didn't deal with it until after the change, it's the number of days from the date of the change to the date we dealt with it.


How the Benefits service is performing in 2023/24:

  Target for the year  April to June 2023 July to September 2023 October to December 2023  January to March 2024 Annual result
Days to process new claims less than 20 days 20.6 18.4 22.2 20.1 19.5
Days to process changes less than 9 days 6.8 8.0 9.3 4.5 6.4


See how the Benefits service performed in earlier years

Getting a decision faster

We can only make a decision on a claim straightaway if we have the full information and evidence that we need from the person claiming. If you give us all the evidence and information we ask for with your claim form we can process your claim more quickly. If you don't provide it, we may have to write and ask for it. 

More information about the evidence we need

Telling us about changes

Once you've given us your claim, you need to tell us straightaway about any change that could affect your benefit. Tell us as soon as you know about the change, from the moment you've filled in your claim form.

We usually need evidence of the change, so include it when you report your change if you can. When you use the online changes in circumstances form it tells you what evidence we need and how to provide it.

If you don't tell us about changes, we may pay you too much benefit and you'll have to pay it back.


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