Which DWP number are you struggling to get through on?  Benefits and Work wants to find out more about which numbers have the longest wait times and also whether things improve with the introduction of ‘almost human’ AI chatbots answering calls.

Back in February, the DWP announced it was introducing Conversational Platform software to answer telephone calls.  The DWP described the voices claimants would hear as ‘almost human’.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the following month the DWP announced that it was closing 41 offices and that some staff would be redeployed to different roles.  The jobs affected are ‘back of house’ such as staff who answer telephones.

It may well be the case that wait times fall as a result of the introduction of AI.  But it’s also possible that the actual responses callers get will be of little help because they are simply talking to sophisticated FAQ software which can only give pre-programmed responses and can’t deal with follow-up questions.

As a first step we need to find out which are the numbers that you struggle with most and is it solely that no-one answers or do you get unhelpful responses, get cut-off before you’ve finished, get offers to call you back that never happen or get answers that are just plain wrong.

And do you know if you are talking to a human?

Some of the most likely suspects are:

Universal Credit helpline

Telephone: 0800 328 5644

PIP enquiry line

Telephone: 0800 121 4433

Jobcentre Plus for ESA change of circumstances

Telephone: 0800 169 0310

But there may be other numbers related to the benefits we deal with that are a problem for you.    Please let us know your experiences in the comments section below.

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Pats · 14 hours ago
    Tried to get through to PIP was on hold 31 minutes. Still didn't talk to anyone. Rang Jobcentre Plus and am currently on hold for 25.14 minutes.
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    Di B · 1 days ago
    Called and went through the robot questions and then patiently waited for over an hour, didn’t even get through but got cut off, so annoying as I have to try again to probably have the same thing happen all over again, it’s an absolute joke
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    steve · 1 days ago
    38 minutes and still on hold
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    Va · 2 days ago
    I have now been waiting to speak to an advisor for 50 minutes. I’m on my 3rd house phone as the battery keeps running out. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jimmy · 2 days ago
    Today I got through to PIP in about 35 minutes, and then DLA in 18 minutes. Hope this helps. Today might be a good day for them!
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    peppa · 3 days ago
    On 2 occasions, I waited 55 minutes for esa to answer my call then cut off?
    worse than appalling
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    Naaahhhhh · 8 days ago
    DWP is less than useless. Absolute bomb-scare of a service. I've been trying to resolve an issue, and the call operator put me on hold, then cut me off. Universal Credit is, without doubt, the worst system in the world.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Debbie · 13 days ago
    Today 5 th August 2022 I've been waiting for 45 minutes to the ESA and counting!! Appalling service.
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    Sarah · 16 days ago
    Anyone know their opening hours? Been trying for ages
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    Sian · 19 days ago
    I have been phoning uo everyday to get through.  to PIP but no answe can ring for over an hr still no answe what should  i do now ..
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Donna · 15 days ago
      @Sian I have been trying for over 4 months, different times and days, I still can’t get anyone to answer PIP enquiry and I have tried every option even wrote twice to them. I am at my wits end and feel your pain.
      My PIP was renewed but I haven’t received any correspondence from them desperately need the exempt certificate that ran out in March in order to road tax my vehicle. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Lisa · 15 days ago
      @Sian Im the same its disgusting tbh
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Kim Hamilton · 28 days ago
    I asked to change my appointment due to having an interview at the same time, I was told no one picked up at my local job centre so they would ring me back within 3 hours. Nothing obviously. Rang them back, same thing, no one answered but said i would get a call back in 1 hour. It's now been 2 hours and still heard nothing back.
    This system is an absolute joke, glad I don't really have to use this service often!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Trish · 28 days ago
    Am currently left hanging with the awful music and repetitive voice, so far 53 min.. from previous experience I have learned that using this time if you can makes it more bearable so I’ve showered, brushed teeth, emptied dishwasher, moped floors, folded washing 
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    Hussain · 1 months ago
    Been on phone for 1 hour still not picking up it seems they are not interested 
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    Christine coxon · 1 months ago
    Been trying for 18 months to get an answer as to how my pension is made up and although I have sent death certificates and six letters no real answer except a stained piece of paper six months out of date and totally not relevant to the question. 
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    Parmjit Singh · 1 months ago
    Been trying for almost a week now to get through to DWP PIP team , absolutely a joke the number 0800 121 4434 absolutely a joke all you hear is a piano playing music followed by message all of our customer service agents busy please hold and we will answer as soon as possible 
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    Colin · 1 months ago
    Been trying this number PIP customer helpline 0800 121 4433 for a whole week. Its a joke
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Colin · 1 months ago
    Been trying for a full week to get an answer on this Number for pip. On hold for 2+ hours at a time. I call back and get the same....ridiculous!!!!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Dave Gamwell · 1 months ago
    Currently been on hold for 45 minutes to inform dwp of our change of bank details. Still no one is answering. The insesent repeated message and that God awful music it's driving me insane. And then rhey wonder shy people are aggressive towards them when they finally answer.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    T.Firth · 1 months ago
    4 times in the last 2 weeks each time being on hold for nearly a hour no response on number 08001690310
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Colin jones · 1 months ago
    I hung on for an hr then it was closed so rang to day and have been on half hr and no one answered 

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