PEOPLE making new claims for Universal Credit will no longer need to call the Department of Work and Pensions as part of the process.
Instead a bolstered frontline team will proactively call claimants if they need to check any of the information provided as part of the claim, as well as messaging them on their online journal to confirm details.
The move is designed to take some of the worry and frustration out of submitting a claim, while speeding it up by putting an end to long call wait times.
The change is a response to the huge volume of calls to Universal Credit phone lines, which meant some people were faced with an engaged tone when calling or were left waiting for several hours.
Since March 16, more than a million new claims for Universal Credit have been processed, and 10,000 staff are being redeployed to help on the frontline. A rapid recruitment drive has been launched for an additional 5,000 to aid the effort.
Already, DWP staff have been making proactive calls where they can see people haven’t been able to get through.
This change goes further, putting the emphasis on the Department to follow up with claimants if more information is needed – although anyone who is unable to get online can still call the Department as normal.
Appropriate measures to protect people from fraud have been put in place to safeguard the new process.
DWP says it will never ask people for their bank details over the phone and people should never give out personal information unless they are sure it is DWP calling.