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.

Comments

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Vickir · 1 years ago
    I've been trying for 3 days sitting on hold for over an hour each time then having to give up. I just can't get through!
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    Sabran S · 1 years ago
    Today would have been my fourth time to a get a figure for gap in my national insurance contributions so that I can get my record upto date. I have had no success so far since end of July. Although i have heard that people have paid up have also not heard back either. Please can anyone throw some light 🚨 on this situation. Thank you
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    Shirley Allan · 1 years ago
    Have to return call 4 times on hold for over 30 minutes then finally hang up  to esa department they ask me to call impossible to get through asked all security so must have a log I've called 
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    Claire · 1 years ago
    1 hour 18 mins so far to PIP...trying to inform them of change in circumstances...third try this week..absolutely shocking service!!!
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    Julie · 1 years ago
    Absolutely demoralizing!  I've just spent 3 hours and 20mins being passed between PIP and DLA helplines.  Approximately 50 minute wait time to speak to anyone each time.  Each department told me they needed to speak to the other.  Disgusting service - really needs reviewed by Government about what's going on, it's shocking!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Roberto · 1 years ago
    Diabolical.Job center plus...the only number where I can hear them .but they cannot hear me  OR THEY CHOOSE NOT TO.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    BernieVee · 1 years ago
    My wife gets through to the automated system, is told that all the advisors are busy, but to keep holding, then after a few minutes the line goes dead. ☹☹
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Cath · 1 years ago
    55 minutes and still waiting 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Tony · 1 years ago
    Have been holding on to DWP pension credits to cancel my pension credits but nobody answer I have waited 45 mins 

  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Pats · 1 years 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.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Di B · 1 years 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 years ago
    38 minutes and still on hold
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Va · 1 years 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 · 1 years 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!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    peppa · 1 years ago
    On 2 occasions, I waited 55 minutes for esa to answer my call then cut off?
    worse than appalling
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Naaahhhhh · 1 years 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 · 1 years ago
    Today 5 th August 2022 I've been waiting for 45 minutes to the ESA and counting!! Appalling service.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sarah · 1 years ago
    Anyone know their opening hours? Been trying for ages
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Sian · 1 years 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 · 1 years 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 · 1 years ago
      @Sian Im the same its disgusting tbh
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Kim Hamilton · 1 years 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!
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