ONE third of households in Torbay are claiming housing benefit and council tax support, new figures have confirmed.
Just over half of those claiming are of working age, councillors will be told. The number of claimants is the second largest in Devon outside Exeter.
Last year, there were around 170 new housing benefit and/or council tax support claims processed each week, according to a report to members of the Torbay Council's overview and scrutiny committee.
Demand for housing and council tax benefit/support has increased from 52,600 claims and notifications of change of circumstances in 2009/10 to 62,900 last year.
Staffing has decreased over that period from 38 to 25 in the revenue and benefits service.
Last year, the service was responsible for the collection and payment of around £77.6million in council tax, £36.98million in business rates, £67.3million in housing benefit payments and £12.9million in council tax support.
It also awarded just over £250,000 in crisis support payments.
Since April, the service has on average processed 150 new claims and 980 change of circumstances notifications each week.