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.

What to do if you can't get through

Some of our members have successfully got their MP's office involved when they have been unable to contact the DWP themselves. If you do try this, please let us know how it goes by leaving a comment.  There's more details here.

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    Jay · 1 months ago
    ESAto note change of circumstances. Get to around 45 mins waiting to be then cut off. 
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    Jenny · 1 months ago
    The dwp has informed my local council tax dept I no longer live at my current address and  have giving them an address I lived at 5 years ago . I cannot reach any DWP department to speak to about this !! 
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    Jess w · 1 months ago
    I know this is old but people are still commenting and things are almost worse.. I've spent a total of 5hrs on hold in two days... what can we do about this? 
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    Jackie · 1 months ago
    I phoned 08001690310 just after 4pm on Friday and was on hold for over an our and a half, then a message played saying that there had been a problem and I should phone back at another time, it then cut the call off
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    Christine · 1 months ago
    been on the line now for 2 and half hours still no reply, trying to find out why I havent had no money for a month and probably have to wait again till next week.
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    Russell knight · 1 months ago
    Totally useless they phoned me left a message I rang back was on hold for an hour then it cut off then I rang next day 1 hour and half no one answered then I rang today got through they told me after an hour wait I was  phoning wrong department they said there’d put me through to right department was on hold an hour and ten minutes then they cut me off if I owed them money they would be on me like a rash and also they should put humans back to answer not bloody robots it’s a total joke
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      tom · 9 days ago
      @Russell knight At least they were footing the  phone call bill 0800
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Ash · 14 days ago
      @Russell knight Yes so right. I like many others are fed up of
      Very unhelpful people who work for DWP This day an age,Over the telephone.
      I wan't the old style Social security offices back where you could speak to a person face to face and get your giro money in minutes. When people were helpful to each other like the 1980s. Now days the customer service is absaloutly Disgrace.
      I don't think people today now the meaning of the Word.

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    Sandra Paul · 1 months ago
    Waste of time trying to phone DWP 0800 7310122 they do not answer it is shambolic and shameful.Piibably working at home and out walking their dogs.I was not looking for a benefit wanted to stop a benefit.They need kicked into action.
    Think we all need to go to our local MP and see if they will do something about this.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Mel · 1 months ago
    (08001690310) Been trying for 3 days to get through to this number and waiting for hours on end! Not received the last 3 payments of ESA! No one is picking up at all! 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      tom · 9 days ago
      @Sarah Even that is no longer  a simple task, they insist on appointments these days
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Stephen · 29 days ago
      @Mel Inform your MP as they have a direct line to the DWP and can help sort it.
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Sarah · 1 months ago
      @Mel Go to jobcentre
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Katia · 1 months ago
      @Mel same here, since yesterday I have been trying to call, waiting for hour and a half each time and nothing, just wanted to report changes
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jamie Geezer · 1 months ago
    Rung up yesterday (Thursday 11th April) about a misssing ESA payment,  and finally after an hour or so on the phone, i get told the old style ESA had updates and my claim got put on pause. I got told a payment would be made yesterday and to check my bank every hour. This was at 09:30. I had no payment by 16:15 , so i spent a further 2 hours on the phone until 18:20 and finally got through, to only give my NI number then to be hanged up on. Friday 12th April,  i have been on the phone for 2
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ash · 1 months ago
    Not received my usual ESA payment. I've been trying to get through on 0800 169 0310 since half past 8 this morning it's now 11.15 am and my third attempt at ringing. Absolutely ridiculous when you're anxious and left wondering as to why you haven't been paid. 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Cathy Dean · 1 months ago
      @Ash I’m on the phone to them now, been so for a hour, went to do my food shopping to discover I’ve got no money, what the heck are they doing.its taking them 9 months so far to do a pip assessment also.totaly incompetent 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Russell knight · 1 months ago
      @Ash Same here ash absolutely useless
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Melissa · 1 months ago
    (0800 121 4600)

    have been trying to get in contacted with DWP, on  the phones, for over two weeks now. Two days I finished work early around 2pm 
    I was on the line for hour, till their end of day 5pm and fun cause it was still saying we know you waiting and someone will be available shortly. I made a joke that I felt like no one actually pick up these phone, but now I totally believe nobody answers this phone I was on the line for over 4/5 hours 
    I’ve called in the morning, afternoons, evening, numerous different days numerous different times and still no difference no one picks up!! 
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    Richard · 1 months ago
    This service is the worst I have ever used DWP wont pay anything but delay by saying missing information ring 08001690310 
    30 mins wait on Mon 8th April
    60 minutes and counting on Tuesday 9th still no one to speak too

    Just think if I owe money to HMRC I have to answer straight away or get fined by the "day"

    I was made redundant on the 22/12/2023 - 4 months later not a penny
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ronald McAlister · 1 months ago
    On 8th April I received a call claiming to be DWP. He had an overseas accent and had difficulty pronouncing my name but he would have to ask some security questions. I was suspicious of a scam call as I have received similar purporting falsely to represent Govt departments. I asked, as he new my name, if he had my address. He said 'no' and I became further suspicious as I have had many communications from DWP. He gave me a phone number(0800 731 0469) and on subsequent checking my DWP correspondence this related correctly.. My suspicions were therefore probably unfounded.
    I phoned this number but I could not get beyond irrelevant automated answers. Please help by  enabling me to speak to a live person to assist with this possible misunderstanding and the matter which has to be addressed. I am approaching my 85th birthday.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Lesley · 1 months ago
    I received a text from PIP stating that I need to complete a new form as I have claimed PIP for 25 years. The text said that if I do not receive a renewal form in 2 weeks then ring them. I have been trying all day and it keeps going dead after I have been in the phone for ages. HELP ME!
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    Kay · 1 months ago
    Can’t get threw to pip tried for a month now discusting !
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    Laura · 1 months ago
    I’ve been trying to get through to PIP. It just keeps ending my calls 😡
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    Mike · 1 months ago
    Jobcentre Plus - "Thank you for waiting we will put you through to an agent as soon as we can" 1 hour later still nobody answers, 3 days in a row !!!
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    Katie · 1 months ago
    I've sent in an application for JSA. They acknowledged receipt by email but I have had no follow up after 4 weeks. I have tried calling the JSA Helpline 3 or 4 times over the past 2 weeks to see what's happening but no-one picks up. I'm applying for jobs but have no money coming in. What are we supposed to do?
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    Michael · 1 months ago
    I’ve been waiting to speak to someone for 2 hours and 40 mins, I’m supposed to be getting an ESA payment tomorrow, it always shows up on my banking App the day before as an upcoming payment, but I checked with my bank and they haven’t got a credit going in, so I updated my address details last week and the must of not updated my claim or something, so I’m just trying to talk to someone, but no one is answering it’s really irritating 😡
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Cal A Penn · 1 months ago
    PIP I have called numerous times to change my address even got my daughter to have a go as I cant stay on wait over 40mins due to anxiety 
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