Get involved! Send your photos, video, news & views by texting WN NEWS to 80360 or e-mail us
Glitch halts 2,300 benefit payments
MORE than 2,300 people are facing a delay to their benefit payments because of a computer glitch.
A “rare and unexpected” hardware problem disrupted cash flow to about 10 per cent of claimants in south Worcestershire who were due to be paid yesterday.
Instead, people affected by the problem in Wychavon were set to receive their benefits today, while those in Worcester and Malvern will get theirs tomorrow.
The glitch, which is being described as “storage array issues”, happened on Friday and IT staff have worked through the night and over the weekend to get systems working as quickly as possible.
Nick Jefferies, of South Worcestershire Revenues and Benefits Service, apologised for the delay.
He said: “We’re so sorry for the delays to housing benefits payments. We understand how stressful this can be to claimants and we’ve done everything we can to get benefit payments made as quickly as possible.
“We have been working with landlords and housing associations to make them aware that their rents may be late and we want claimants to know that if they have any immediate worries about payments that they can get in touch with us.”
Vic Allison, deputy managing director at Wychavon, said: “Ensuring the benefit payments are made has been our number one priority.”
Ricky Smith, who lives in Arboretum, Worcester, with his family, said the glitch had put added pressures on them.
He said: “We receive housing benefit and we were told it would be received on Monday.
"It was showing at the bank that the transaction hadn’t completed. When we phoned up to ask about it, they just said there was a glitch in the system.
"We phoned them back [yesterday] and they still couldn’t tell us anything. We receive just over £200 every fortnight, which is just short of our rent.
"It’s quite crucial we get the money on time. Our landlord is being pretty cool at the moment. He just wants to be kept up to date.
“It’s quite a worry for us. We’ve got enough other things going on that need to be worried about.”
Customers who have concerns about their hous- ing benefits payments can call 01386 565014 or e-mail email@example.com for advice.