Benefit payments for 32000 not paid in time for Christmas

Benefit payments for 32000 not paid in time for Christmas

DWP blames ‘administrative error’ for some jobseekers, pensioners and people given social fund budgeting loans missing out.

Up to 32,000 people did not receive benefit payments in time for Christmas due to an administrative error.

Money for some job-seekers, low earners and pensioners was due to go into accounts on Christmas Eve, but will not now arrive until Friday.

Those affected include new claimants, those owed arrears and people awarded social fund budgeting loans for essentials such as clothes, rent and furniture.

The Department for Work and Pensions said that if it had been contacted by affected individuals by 5pm on Christmas Eve, the payment would have been rushed through within three hours.

“The vast majority of regular benefit payments have been made on time this Christmas,” a spokesman said.

“However, due to an administrative issue, a number of one-off or more irregular payments will now be paid on 27 December rather than the 24. We have procedures in place to ensure that anyone who has been affected by this and who contacted us would have had their benefits paid, usually within three hours.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused,” he said. A total of 32,200 people claiming jobseeker’s allowance, employment support allowance, social fund and certain categories of pension could have been hit by the delay, the spokesman added. © 2013 Guardian News and Media Limited or its affiliated companies. All rights reserved. | Use of this content is subject to our Terms & Conditions | More Feeds

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