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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    Trish · 1 years 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 years ago
    Been on phone for 1 hour still not picking up it seems they are not interested 
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    Christine coxon · 1 years 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 years 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 years ago
    Been trying this number PIP customer helpline 0800 121 4433 for a whole week. Its a joke
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    Colin · 1 years 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!!!!
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    Dave Gamwell · 1 years 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.
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    T.Firth · 1 years ago
    4 times in the last 2 weeks each time being on hold for nearly a hour no response on number 08001690310
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    Colin jones · 1 years 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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    Lynsey · 1 years ago
    Rang 3 times. Went through the automated voice information then just get told to hang up after 5 minutes each time. Need to report change in circumstances but can't get put through to an advisor. Infuriating 
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    Jez · 2 years ago
    I've been on for over 9 hours a day since Monday. 

    It's a good job that its a free number.

    I just wish that all these Civil Servants (and yes, hands up I was one myself for a while - I did go into the Private Sector eventually), would actually answer the phones which is all they are paid to do.

    As an aside I have a mate who is a Manager in a Job Centre nearby and as a joke I bet him that I could do a whole Days worth of appointments in less than the 9-5. He agreed as he thought that all the unemployed were just wasters.

    I phoned all the claimants and brought all the appointments forward to have 10 min each back to back. 

    Needless to say I was finished by Lunchtime.

    He found it rather funny but for some reason the Union rep wasn't happy at all. (I can't think why)!

    Ho hum. Now if anyone knows of a job going in South Wales please let me know.

    Thanks





















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    Jackie · 2 years ago
    P.I.P.Enquires 
    This is an absolute joke,  the robot answers but can't understand human voices half of the time 
    Eventually you finally get put on hold after the security questions and are left listening to music for hours 
    Or
    When your patience runs out 
    RIDICULOUS 
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    Les G · 2 years ago
    Been phoning since Monday to report a death, on over an hour, no one picked up. Same again just. Absolute joke but would be quick to take money from us

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    Paul B · 2 years ago
    Rang uc this morning and so far no be waited 2hrs and 20 min to speak to someone and still waiting!!! Update the finial time 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      Paul B · 2 years ago
      @Paul B They cut me off after waiting with their music for 3 hours! Which means I get to ring back and do it all again. Cheers UC
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    I gardner · 2 years ago
    Rang Monday 20th June twice no answer waited 30 minutes first time
    25 minutes second time.
    Tuesday 21st rang after 10 am waited 35 minutes gave up .
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    Eileen · 2 years ago
    I wanted to know what the earliest time pip start answering the phone
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    Angela · 2 years ago
    Pip 0800 121 4433 disgrace still on waiting after an hour so stressful 
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    david · 2 years ago
    I've been trying for the last 2 days waiting on the phone for over a hour until I hang up

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    Petrina Lundgren · 2 years ago
    It took me 20 minutes to get through to the 21 87777 from Spain, and then only an answering service which kept me waiting further, until I hung up.  It would be helpful to have other numbers to call.   I realise that DWP may be short staffed and after a weekend may be busier than usual, but I needed to query unexpected payments which were not supported by correspondence.
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    C · 2 years ago
    Been on hold for an hour and no one’s replying to me on the silly journal  
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