Tell our readers what happened when you called the PIP Enquiry Line on 0800 121 4433.

Please use the comments section below to keep other readers updated on what kind of service is being provided right now and what they can expect when they call.

We’d like to know:

  • Which day, and what time of day, did you call?
  • How long did you wait for an answer, if you got one at all?
  • If you got an answer, was it from a human or was it an Artificial Intelligence chatbot?
  • Did your issue get resolved properly?

Why we are asking about the PIP Enquiry Line

Call waiting times on the vast majority of DWP phone lines have been terrible for a very long time.

In February 2002, the DWP told claimants that they ‘should not be concerned if they hear a “human like” voice when they contact us’ because the DWP are introducing ‘Conversational Platform’ software to answer some phone queries.

Here at Benefits and Work we’re concerned that the introduction of computer software may lead to a worse service, whilst allowing the DWP to claim that calls are now being answered much more quickly.

One risk is that chatbots will answer your call to the PIP Enquiry Line quickly, but will be able to respond only to the simplest queries.

If your call is in any way complex you may talk to a chatbot and then be put on hold endlessly whilst waiting to speak to a real person.

What readers have told us about calling 0800 121 4433

We asked readers to tell us about their experience of calling DWP helplines.  We wanted to know which one was providing the worst service, so we could look at that one first.

Whilst the Universal Credit Helpline and the Jobcentre Plus for ESA change of circumstances line were both appalling, the PIP Enquiry Line on 0800 121 4433 seemed to attract the most negative comments.

People told us things like:

“I’ve found the PIP enquiry line has to be the worst one for me. Most recent call approximately 58 mins to be answered. Good job I had time on my hands!!”

 “Over the course of about 4 days I spent nearly 10 hours waiting to get through to PIP, eventually after hour and half got answered, then had to ring again 2 weeks later and waited 45 minutes.”

 “I had to make five attempts in one day to give details for pip.  Each time I was cut off before finishing. On one occasion the phone was answered and automatically hung up. I managed to complete it after just over two hours.”

 “PIP - got through eventually, on hold for almost half an hour, then told someone would ring back, 3 weeks later, no one phoned back, and now I'm struggling to get through, and when I do what is said does not make any sense.”

 “55 minutes to the PIP helpline - on every occasion and without exception. And only to seek extensions for my clients for the return of renewal forms.”

How you can help

By telling us, and other claimants, about your call in the comments section you can help us expose any lies the DWP may try to tell about an improved telephone service. 

You can also make sure that other claimants know the sort of things that can go wrong and give them a better chance to prepare for them.

Remember, we only want to know about calls to the PIP Enquiry Line on 0800 121 4433, though we may start pages for other numbers if this one is used regularly.

Those questions again:

  • Which day, and what time of day, did you call?
  • How long did you wait for an answer, if you got one at all?
  • If you got an answer, was it from a human or was it an Artificial Intelligence chatbot?
  • Did your issue get resolved properly?

Tell the work and pensions committee

From today, 26 April 2023, we're also asking claimants who are struggling to get through on the phone to email the House of Commons work and pensions committee and tell them about your experience. 

The committee can put pressure on the DWP to either improve the phone system or make changes until they can, such as not enforcing deadlines for returning forms or for letting them know about changes of circumstances.

You can read more about this idea here or just email the committee at this address:

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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.

Almost half a million PIP helpline calls deliberately disconnected in April 2023

Almost half a million callers to the PIP helpline in the month of April were deliberately disconnected by the DWP before they could even wait in a queue, a freedom of information request by Benefits and Work has revealed.  The proportion of calls cut-off before entering the queue is now greater than the proportion who even get to wait for an hour or more before giving up or getting disconnected.  Read more.

Comments

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Anon · 1 days ago
    Waited 50minutes. Only just got through now to be put on hold again. I had to speak to a robotic voice to relay my ID details prior to being placed on hold. It’s a truly disgusting system to have won a gruelling tribunal appeal and then being left in the dark for when I would receive back dated payment etc. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ryan matthew · 7 days ago
    Waited half hour then just hung up on me
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    aliali · 8 days ago
    I was deliberately disconnected as there is no other explanation, i waited for a very long time eventually got through to an advisor to talk about my concerns and after about 1 minute the phone of talking with advisor the phone went dead, now I am in the queue waiting all over again for someone who knew all my details and could have rung me back immediately instead of me having to go through the very long queue all over again.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Jo · 15 days ago
    Disgusting service! Called four times this afternoon (02/07/2024). First time was disconnected as soon as entered the queue after waiting 30 mins. Second time after waiting another 30 mins eventually got through to an advisor who asked me to wait whilst he looked at the file and then the line was sent back to the switchboard to start all over again! The third time, waited 40 minutes, man answered and he obviously pretended he couldn’t hear me and said ‘I’m terminating the call’ - there was nothing wrong with the line, he just didn’t want to take the call!!! The fourth time, got through the machine options and the line went dead!
    I’m furious!! Our time is being wasted! Taking time off work to make these calls. I wonder how many wasted working hours are wasted every day?! There is no email to submit a complaint. I’m furious!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    A · 15 days ago
    I literaly just want a copy of my pip form. They only let you call or send a physical letter to request this. I've been deliberately disconnected multiple times, multiple times after being on hold for almost an hour. I've never got through yet this is my 4th time trying. Due to my mental disabilitys my carer or another trusted person needs to help me either by doing these calls on my behalf, or support me to plan and do the call myself, so this is time wasted in multiple people's lives waiting on hold. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Viv · 2 months ago
    I called the number at 15:09 on Tuesday 07/05/24. I was on hold for 49 minutes before getting through to a person. I had just given the details they asked for when I was cut off. Extremely frustrating. I didn't bother calling back but I will have to.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Julian · 2 months ago
    Just tried to call. Got a disconnected tone after pressing option 5
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Steven Bridge · 2 months ago
    Was on hold for 50 minutes before being disconnected. Re-dialled and was on hold for another 65 minutes before the call was answered.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Alex · 2 months ago
    I’ve been trying to get hold of them I have such bad anxiety speaking on the phone it takes it’s toll on me but I’ve been asking them about a back payment and got told twice I would have a phone call so do I just leave it because it’s quite upsetting that I have to ring if it isn’t degrading enough having to get on pip in the first place why then do I have to keep trying to nudge them for it ? 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Ad · 2 months ago
    So many people out of work yet I can’t get through skeleton staff..
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Beth · 2 months ago
    I have called today over the last few hours and for a while it told me to call back after 2pm. Called back after 2pm and the automated message now says they do not expect lines to reopen today. Try again tomorrow!! We're overdue hearing from them regarding an appeal and can't even call them! 
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      R · 2 months ago
      @Beth I tried to call and got the same message as well. No mention of the reason why on twitter which I would expect as a minimum. Disappointing.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Disgruntled · 2 months ago
    No pip payment received with no indication anything is wrong ! Rang helplineover and over again to be cut off after 8/10/15 mins on the 7th occasion spent 92 mins on hold and then a voice said they where having problems and cut me off again ! This is a pip payment on behalf of my son who cannot ring himself as he is deaf ! It says at beginning call not to be rude to staff ! Chance would be a fine thing if they answered the phone ! Disgraceful! When is this going to be sorted as this helpline is for vulnerable desperate people !
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Samantha · 2 months ago
    I've just tried to get through to the enquiries line three times, using two different options to hold for an advisor. I didn't even reach a queue - as soon as I selected my option it just cut me off completely. I have no idea how to contact anyone!!
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Claire · 2 months ago
    I called Tuesday at 9.10am. Waited 28 minutes then it cut me off. Phoned back straight away at 9.40am, was answered after 26 minutes, problem was resolved.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    CG · 2 months ago
    I called today (Tuesday). My call was answered after 21 minutes.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    R · 2 months ago
    I called today 3 times. Twice it just hung up after ringing. Once I got a message saying the call can't connect. I'm used to sitting in a queue but how can their phone lines literally not work at all?
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    S edwards · 2 months ago
    Been on hold since 16.20pm still on hold 17.18 pm don't think they will answer as they close at 5pm 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Darren jones · 2 months ago
    I have rang 4 days now between Mon 22nd apr - Fri 26th apr,once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
    After 20 mins of being on hold each call I gave up.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Celine · 2 months ago
    Called today. Was on hold for 2 hours at which point I got cut off (or the phone line closed? I'm not sure).  I have been waiting since September for my pip review (previously my DLA award was indefinite) - it's getting desperate because without some kind of letter proving I have another year to go I can't get a new motability car and I'm guessing I can't even extend my existing one. Super stressful. Feel like 😭
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Matthew Hall - London Irish C · 2 months ago
    Tribunal Representative here who formally worked for the Department.  I routinely need to call the Department but hold off on doing so unless it is vital.  A while ago, they established a separate route through the call system for checking on the progress of Mandatory Reconsideration Requests.  This worked quite well initially in that you could get throw quite quickly but lately even this service has completely broken down.  So we effectively have no way of checking by phone, no means of communicating electronically, and letters take weeks to respond to.  

    On a tangential note, I need to submit about a dozen reconsideration requests a month.  I enjoyed some success in submitting them to correspondence@dwp.gov.uk but after a few months of these being accepted, I was told that this was not permitted and I had to submit them hard copy, where they seem to have a concerning habit of receiving them at the Wolverhampton sorting site but not 'registering' them.  I would be very interested to hear if anyone else, especially organisations have experienced this?

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