Direct payments of Housing Benefit

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    We are looking to make direct payments of HP, where previously we have only been able to pay by crossed cheque. We have SX3 with our cash receipting system operated by Academy.

    Looking for other Authority’s experiences – did you pay all direct or just landlords, any system problems, lead in times and in particular does anybody have any project notes they can let us have sight of.

    Any assistance or views on this subject gratefully received.


    We also use Sx3 and inroduced payment by BACS about 18 months ago. We started off by paying to landlords, obviously writing to them first and getting their authority. We found it necessary to write to most of them twice before we got a response.

    Once we had the process bedded in we then moved on to claimants.

    We haven’t really had any major problems. I’d suggest that, when your officers are keying in the bank details, a second officer checks them. I’d also advise on having a procedure in place, before you go live, on how to deal with rejections.

    If you need any help drop me an email.


    We converted to SX3 November 01 and paid BACS from day one to all. You will have to have BACSB schedules set up too , we decided to have the different methods split up so we weren’t having to run so many jobs on the same night ie we have a four week cycle – week 1 Cheque 4 weekly , week 2 Fortnightly cheque, bacs and bacsb , week 3 BACSand BACSB 4 weekly and week 4 as week 2. Obviously the weekly payee schedules are run every week but if we hadn’t split the dates they were all run , like we did, and ended up with all the schedules due to be run on the same night may have had problems fitting all the jobs in and our creditors section had concerns about having to pay everyone on the same day. Hope this makes sense.

    Processors have to search for the account when outting the details on pay mechanism as often the account details are held as may be paying council tax bill by direct debit.

    We have had problems – on the revenues side – for BACSB cases where a roll number is held on benefits side. Apparently this ref number appears on the direct debit extract and can be a problem. It has been known for roll numbers to suddenly disappear from the payment mechanism screen for no apparent reason resulting in payments of HB not being produced. Not sure if our Technology section got to the bottom of this – I suspected Revenues staff were doing something at their end though !
    Good luck

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