Bishops of Truro and Portsmouth receive Written Answers to Questions about Short Term Benefit Advances

On 19th and 20th October 2015 the Bishop of Truro, Rt Revd Tim Thornton, and the Bishop of Portsmouth, Rt Revd Richard Foster, received written answers to questions on short term benefit advances.


Bishop of Truro 20.6.13

The Lord Bishop of Truro: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of those applying for a Short Term Benefit Advance (STBA) in 2014–15 were rejected because (1) they were not considered likely to be entitled to the benefit for which they required an STBA, (2) they were not considered to be in sufficient financial need to warrant an STBA, (3) they were not expected to be able to repay the loan arising from an STBA, (4) a benefit payment could be made in a timeframe that negated the need for an STBA, or (5) for other reasons.

Lord Freud: There is no data available to answer questions 1, 2, 3 & 5. Please see table below in response to question 4;

October 2014 – September 2015
STBA Applications Received 228,039 228,039
STBA Primary Benefit Paid 52,517
% Primary Benefit Paid against Applications Received 23.0%

For context we have also provided STBA Applications Received.

The data provided is for Employment and Support Allowance, Incapacity Benefits, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Income Support. The Secretary of State announced on 8 December 2014 that DWP would do more to raise the awareness of Short Term Benefit Advances and as well as more information now on Gov.UK there should be posters and leaflets in all Jobcentres.

The data is only available from October 14 therefore we have provided the latest 12 months’ worth of data.

Only Working Age Benefits (i.e. ESA, IB, JSA and IS) are included in the above information for benefit advance applications as the number of applications received for State Pension Credit and Carer’s Allowance is not available.

The Source for the date is as follows: STBA Applications Received & Primary Benefits Paid – Management Information System Programme (MISP). This collation is based on clerical counts submitted by the Centres and is Internal MI which has been agreed for use in publications of Parliamentary questions and Freedom of Information requests.

(via Parliament.uk)


The Lord Bishop of Truro: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what proportion of those applying for a Short Term Benefit Advance in 2014–15 were awarded one but subsequently refused the benefit applied for.

Lord Freud: The information requested is not available.

(via Parliament.uk)


14.04.09 Portsmouth maiden speech 1The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Freud on 4 February (HL4518), what measures they have taken to ensure that benefit claimants are aware of the availability of Short Term Benefit Advances; and whether they have now implemented the changes to information provision announced in December 2014.

Lord Freud: DWP has taken steps to raise awareness of Short Term Benefit Advances. Jobcentres have posters and leaflets covering Short Term Benefit Advances and staff have been provided with updated guidance. Information is also available on GOV.UK

We are continuing to monitor the impact of this activity on the number of requests for STBAs.

(via Parliament.uk)


The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Freud on 4 February (HL4519), what assessment they have made of the effect of changes to the guidance and promotion of Short Term Benefit Advances.

Lord Freud: DWP has taken steps to raise awareness of Short Term Benefit Advances. Jobcentres have posters and leaflets covering Short Term Benefit Advances and staff have been provided with updated guidance. Information is also available on GOV.UK

We are continuing to monitor the impact of this activity on the number of requests for STBAs.

(via Parliament.uk)


The Lord Bishop of Portsmouth: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what procedures are in place to monitor the adherence of job centres to Department for Work and Pensions guidelines that staff should make the availability of Short Term Benefit Advances known to benefit claimants before advising them of other local sources of short-term support; and how they plan to enforce that guidance if instances of non-adherence are identified.

Lord Freud: Jobcentre staff follow guidance that states customers should only be referred to other local sources of help if they can not get a Short Term Benefit Advance (STBA) or any other form of DWP support in the first instance. When local sources of help is required, staff will look at what is available through the District Provision Tool and signpost accordingly.

Earlier this year, DWP undertook activity to raise awareness in Jobcentres of STBA. All Jobcentres displayed posters about STBA and staff were up skilled in the processes and procedures of STBA. Persistent non-compliance of the process by staff could lead to disciplinary action being taken.

(via Parliament.uk)