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Housing and Council Tax Benefits – Miscellaneous Questions

In this section you will find answers to miscellaneous frequently asked questions. This section does not reiterate information given in other sections, nor does it answer queries relating to the decision making process for Housing and Council Tax Benefits.

What standards of customer service do the benefits service strive to achieve?

The Benefits Service works towards meeting the Corporate Customer Care Standards and annually sets its own rigorous performance targets.

  • We will attempt to answer 80% of all telephone calls within 15 seconds.
  • We aim for less than an 8% abandonment rate for all telephone calls.
  • We will seek to process new claims within 27 days of receipt.
  • We will seek to decide all changes of circumstance notified to us within 7 days of receipt.
  • We will aim to decide 96% of all new claims within 14 days of receiving all the information and evidence we need to make a decision.

You can follow our progress towards our aims in the “Our Performance” section.

What do you do to ensure the information I give you is secure?

The Benefits Service strictly adheres to the Data Protection Act. For more information about the Corporate Data Protection standards please go to: Data Protection.

All information we receive is securely held in paper and electronic files, which are only accessible by Council employees and are password protected.

Your data is only shared with other Government departments / agencies for the express purpose of preventing and detecting fraud. No information is shared with third parties without your express written approval.

Any information shared with Government departments and agencies is done so securely.

Should you provide valuable items of evidence in support of your claim, we will photocopy this information and return the originals.

Can I get access to information you hold about me?

The Council also adheres to the Freedom of Information Act. If you want to know more information about the Benefit Service please review the information at: Freedom of Information before submitting your request.

How do I complain about, or compliment, the service you provide?

Should you wish to comment on the service we provide you, you can either write directly to the Benefits Service or use the online facility: Complaints.