Hackney Council is Worst in Country for Benefits Claims

A report from the Government’s Department of Work and Pensions (as reported in the Hackney Gazette 29th May) shows that Hackney Council is the worst in the country for processing housing benefit claims. The report showed that on average it took the council 142 days to process such a claim.

This comes two years after the council finally sacked the private company ITNet which had caused such misery for so many people. The IWCA was heavily involved in the campaign to get rid of ITNet and ran numerous advice surgeries to help those affected by the delays. We are still getting requests for help from people whose benefits have been delayed and while the situation is better than it was under the benefit bunglers of ITNet, Hackney Council has a duty to improve its service. In a mealy-mouthed response to the Gazette’s report, Cllr Samantha Lloyd claims that things are looking up. Why then is it that neighbouring boroughs with a similar social make-up can expect to get their claims processed so much quicker? And why after sacking ITNet 2 years ago is the Council’s own provision in such a mess?