I propose to take Questions Nos. 297, 298 and 302 together.
Processing times vary across schemes because of both the volume of applications and the differing qualification criteria. For example, means assessments are required for all of the social assistance schemes and customers must also satisfy the habitual residence condition. In the case of the insurance based schemes, it may be necessary to ascertain details of foreign insurance records. It should also be noted that many factors outside the Department's control can impact upon claim processing times, e.g. the supply of relevant information by the customer, employers or other third parties.
The average processing time for claims decided in June 2012 was 1.7 weeks for jobseekers benefit, 4 weeks for jobseekers allowance and 14.9 weeks for one parent family payment. This is the average time nationally and there are fluctuations between offices.
The number of claims pending at the end of June was 8,018 jobseeker benefit, 21,990 jobseeker allowance and 3,365 one parent family payment.
Question No. 299 answered with Question No. 262.