New Universal Credit claimants won’t need to call DWP
Instead, the department will call up claimants if they need to check any information submitted as part of the application, or will send messages via the online journal.
The move comes as more than a million people applied for Universal Credit in just two weeks, with many facing an engaged tone or left waiting for hours as the department was overwhelmed.
DWP said the change to the process is designed to take some of the worry and frustration out of submitting a claim, as well as putting an end to long call waiting times.
However, where someone is unable to get online, claimants can still call the department as normal.
Secretary of state for work and pensions, Therese Coffey, said: “We are doing whatever it takes to make claiming benefits as straightforward as possible during a time when we are receiving an unprecedented number of claims.
“That’s why no one making a new claim to Universal Credit needs to call us. Once you’ve completed your online application, you can rest assured we have received your claim and we will call you if we need to check any of the information you’ve given us.”
It added that “appropriate measures” are being taken to protect people from fraud, reminding people that DWP will never ask for bank details over the phone and people should never give out personal information unless they are sure it is DWP calling.
The DWP said 10,000 staff are being redeployed to help on the frontline and a rapid recruitment drive has been launched for an additional 5,000 staff.