14 April 2020
Universal Credit : DWP say, ‘Don’t call us – we’ll call you’
People making new claims for Universal Credit (UC) no longer need to call the DWP as part of the process.
Instead, DWP staff will proactively call claimants if they need to check any of the information provided as part of the UC claim, as well as messaging them on their online journal to confirm details.
The move is a response to the huge volume of calls to DWP's UC telephone lines, which have recently meant some people were faced with an engaged tone when calling or were left waiting for several hours and this change is designed to take some of the worry and frustration out of submitting a claim, while speeding it up by putting an end to long call wait times.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Therese Coffey said:
“We are doing whatever it takes to make claiming benefits as straightforward as possible during a time when we are receiving an unprecedented number of claims.
“That’s why no one making a new claim to Universal Credit needs to call us.
“Once you’ve completed your online application, you can rest assured we have received your claim and we will call you if we need to check any of the information you’ve given us.”
Since 16 March, more than a million new claims for Universal Credit have been processed, and 10,000 staff are being redeployed to help on the frontline. A rapid recruitment drive has been launched for an additional 5,000 to aid the effort.
DWP staff have already been making proactive calls where they can see people haven’t been able to get through.
This change puts the emphasis on DWP to follow up with claimants if more information is needed – although anyone who is unable to get online can still call the UC Helpline as normal.
DWP confirm that appropriate measures to protect people from fraud have been put in place to safeguard the new process. DWP will never ask claimants for your bank details over the phone and people should never give out personal information unless they are sure it is DWP calling.