§ Baroness Jeger
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What is the extent of delay in paying family credit to applicants who may have been eligible since April; and whether interest will be paid to these applicants on back payments.
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department of Social Security (Lord Skelmersdale)
Although many families became eligible for family credit when the new scheme was introduced in April 1988, payment can be made only from the time a claim is made or treated as made. Immediately prior to the disruption arising from the recent postal928WA dispute the average length of time between the receipt of a claim and the issue of a decision was just over 18 working days. Where longer delays were involved this was usually due to difficulties in obtaining relevant information from the claimant or from the employer.
Arrears of benefit are payable from the start of the payweek following, or coinciding with, the date of claim. The legislation does not provide for the payment of interest on such arrears.