Image: Cambrian News

NEW housing benefit applicants in Ceredigion are having to wait almost three weeks for their claims to be processed, new figures have revealed.

Cambrian News reported “Between April 2017 and March 2018, new claimants waited on average 20 days before their application was completed, according to data from the Department for Work and Pensions. That’s slightly below the British average of 22 days, which includes weekends.

This waiting time can be worrying for applicants, and the charity Turn-2Us said they can be threatened with eviction and face homelessness.

Councils are legally required to respond within two weeks, or as soon as is practical.

According to the figures, the local authority processed 1,096 new cases over the 12 month period.

In total there were 4,212 housing benefit claimants in Ceredigion in February 2018, which is the latest publicly available data.

During the previous year, applicants had to wait longer with an average delay of 23 days.

Residents are eligible for housing benefit if they rent, are on a low income or other benefits, and if their savings are below £16,000.

The amount applicants receive differs depending on whether they rent from the council, or privately, their salary and whether they have any spare rooms.

Ceredigion was quicker at dealing with current claimants who had changed their living circumstances.

Those applications took on average just five days to complete” here.

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