§ Mrs. Ann Cryer
To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security (1) what is the average time taken for claimants to receive benefit; 
(2) what is the average time taken for claimants to receive incapacity benefits. 
§ Mr. Field
The administration of Social Security benefits is a matter for Peter Mathison, the Chief Executive of the Benefits Agency. He will write to the hon. Member.
Letter from Peter Mathison to Mrs. Ann Cryer, dated 25 March 1998:The Secretary of State for Social Security has asked me to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions asking what is the average time taken for claimants to receive benefit and receive Incapacity Benefits.The information is not available in the format requested and could be obtained only at disproportionate cost. Information is available for the average actual clearance time for Social Security benefits which represents the average length of time from receipt of the 275W application to the date of the decision. Such information as is available is shown in the attached table.I hope you find this reply helpful.
Average Clearance Time Benefit 1Average Clearance Time Benefits administered locally Incapacity Benefit 10.0 Maternity Allowance 11.2 Severe Disablement Allowance 65.2 Retirement Pension 18.8 Widow's Benefit 16.0 Widow's Payment 5.9 Jobseeker's Allowance 7.7 Income Support 7.5 Budgeting Loan 4.6 Crisis Loan 1.2 Community Care Grant 5.0 Maternity Payment 3.7 Funeral Payment 11.1 Benefits administered centrally Retirement Pension and Widow's Benefit PSD2 7.6 LPG3 22.4 Child Benefit 12.1 Disability Working Allowance 12.7 Family Credit (other than Faster FamC) 11.5 Invalid Care Allowance 20.4 Disability Living Allowance (DLA) 38.6 DLA (Special Rules) 7.7 Attendance Allowance (AA) 23.3 AA (Special Rules) 5.4 1Actual Average Clearance Time in days for 1997/98. Includes data for February 1998 2Pensions Services Division 3London Pensions Group