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Public performance reports

Benefits administration

The Council Plan Connect, outlines our objectives for 2017-22.  Connect ambitions and objectives should not be seen in isolation, they interact with each other and as we achieve success in one, we move closer to success in others.  In delivering our vision to ‘improve the quality of life of everyone in South Lanarkshire’ our ambitions show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners. 

Each year we produce an Annual Performance Report which details how we have performed in achieving our Connect objectives. To complement the Annual Performance Report we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports.  This report outlines the performance in relation to our benefit administration service.

Benefits administration

The council is responsible for the administration of Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction:

  • Housing Benefit is administered on behalf of the Department for Work and Pensions and provides assistance with rented housing costs to those on low incomes. 
  • Council Tax Reduction (previously known as Council Tax Benefit) reduces the amount of Council Tax payable for those on low incomes.

Follow the link to our website for information on other Benefits available.

Benefits average processing time

Average processing time for new claims – Target 21 days

What this means

This indicator calculates how long we take, on average, to process a claim for Housing Benefit.  We are measured on the average number of days taken to process a new claim for Housing Benefit.

Why this matters It is important that the council process new claims for Housing Benefit timeously to ensure that customers are able to meet their rental obligations and sustain tenancies.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Are we improving?
SLC 22 days 21 days 22 days No
Scotland 23 days 23 days 22 days
How we have performed in improving this public service

The council did not achieved its target in 2016-17 and processing of new claims took, on average, one day more than the previous year. We continually review our processing arrangements for new claims to improve our performance in this area. Our performance was the same as the Scottish average.

Average processing time for changes of circumstances – Target 9 days

What this means This indicator tells us how long we take, on average, to process a claim for Housing Benefit.  We are measured on the average number of days to process a change of circumstances reported by an existing claimant. 
Why this matters It is important that the council processes changes which impact on customers’ Housing Benefit payments timeously to ensure that payments are accurate.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Are we improving
SLC 7 days  6 days 6 days Same
Scotland 8 days  7 days 6 days
How we have performed in improving this public service The council achieved its target for this indicator in 2016-17 and processing of changes was unchanged from the previous year. Our performance was the same as the Scottish average.

Cost of benefit administration

Gross administration cost per case – Target £30.00

What this means This indicator measures the cost of processing a claim for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction per case and also measures the gross cost of providing the service across a weighted caseload.  Different types of claims have a different weight depending on the relative complexity of processing the case. 
Why this matters Although it is important to achieve improvements in benefit processing timescales, we have to demonstrate that we are working efficiently and minimising administrative costs. 
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Are we improving
SLC £27.93 £26.15 £25.76 Yes
Scotland £40.14 £39.47 £38.33
How we have performed in improving this public service The cost of processing benefits has decreased since 2014-15 which indicates that the council is becoming more efficient in processing benefit claims. In addition, our costs are consistently well below the Scottish average and we were ranked 5th out of 32 Scottish councils.

Further information

Follow the links to our website for further information about services and how to access them:

Everyone is aware of the changes to benefits as a result of Government changes to the Welfare reform system.  The council is working closely with the Department for Work and Pensions in the rollout of the changes and has a dedicated “Benefits are changing tenant liaison team” to help tenants cope with the changes.

Resource Plans are prepared each year by all council Resources to outline the key developments they intend to take forward in the year.  Performance and actions relating to Benefits administration can be found in the Finance and Corporate Resource Plan.

Twice a year, performance reports are presented to council committees on progress against the Resource Plans. In addition, reports detailing progress against the Council Plan Connect objectives are prepared – see Quarter 2 and Quarter 4 performance reports for further information. More information on our objectives can be found in the Council Plan Connect and also the Annual Performance Report.

The information contained within this report reflects the position based on the data available at the time of publication (March 2018)