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Major differences in handling of social assistance seekers

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08:46 CEST+02:00
There are major differences in how local authorities in Sweden treat those seeking social assistance, according to a new study. This is the first time the handling of such individuals by local authorities has been examined, reported Sveriges Radio (SR).

The study of councils in western Sweden reveals, among other things, that the assessments and how much time employees spend on each case varies across municipalities. There are also major differences in the number of advisors and the length of time it takes to process applications.

In Borås, for example, applicants have been left waiting for as long as 50 days to find out if they are eligible for benefits, whereas in Stenungsund social welfare seekers often receive a response the day their application arrives.

"Citizens have very different possibilities to be treated fairly in terms of their reception by local authorities, if that's how you want to put it," Marie Stoltz of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (Sveriges Kommuner och Landsting), told SR.

Stolz was involved with the study, which was conducted in ten municipalities in western Sweden.

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