When is payment of benefit made?

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    No one replied to my previous post, does the lack of replies mean that no one knows, or no one will admit?

    Will it be more fun if I make it an anonymous Poll?

    Here’s the post …

    When is payment of benefit made?

    With regard to making payments on time, the MIS Guide states that:

    Benefit is considered to have been paid on the date an instrument of payment is posted, the date the benefit was paid into a BACS account or the date of a cash payment to the claimant.

    This seems clear on cash and cheques, but for BACS, is it the date that we transmit the file, or the date it reaches the end account?

    We issue cheques on Friday, and we transmit the BACS file on Thursday, for payment to reach accounts on Monday (three working days required).

    If we have to use the Monday date for BACS, but we can use the Friday date for cheques, even though they won’t be able to pay the money in until the Monday, then we are being penalised for using BACS?

    Has anyone any thoughts on this?/ What do other LA’s do? If we go for the date it lands in the claimants bank account, every bank holiday Monday means a further day’s delay …


    Out of curiosity, why do you ask? Have you had a complaint?

    At my authority we post the payments on a Tuesday, system shows this date as payment date, however we advise claimants that the money will not be credited to the bank account until the Friday of that week. So I suppose we avoid Monday Bank Holidays by paying this way.

    Is this any help? I would say the actual day of payment is the Friday although the system will say the Tuesday. But as I said, I always made that clear to claimants when explaining it.



    Thanks for the reply.

    I am only asking because if BACS and cheque payments are different – and I can see both sides of the argument – we need to be able to differentiate on our computer system – Presently we can’t. If it is the later day, but the compter says an earlier it’s something we could get picked up on at some point. I wondered what other sites are doing.

    The main reason this has come up is that it would seem odd that by paying by BACS we are being penalised.


    I see. We no longer pay by cheque. Its BACS only with us these days.

    However, if the BACS payments are posted on a Thursday to be credited on the Monday and cheques are issued on the Friday to be cashed by Monday at the earliest, you can surely only show the actual date of either the posting or issuing the cheques. You couldnt select an ‘actual’ date of payment ie money hitting the persons account for cheque payments as that comes down to when they cash it.

    So I dont see that there is any other option than to show any other date for either method. When we used to pay by cheque and BACS, our system just showed either CHQ or BACS against the payment.

    Payees have always contacted us querying payment dates and saying they received a notification of payment on Tuesday X and the money isnt in the account etc…. and we have then explained the delay in the system. Its never posed a huge problem. And like I said before, people with cheques have the onus upon them to cash it as quickly as they feel they need.

    Perhaps I am missing the point completely Mark.

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