Universal Credit: Telephone Applications

Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons on 18th March 2019.

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Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

Which criteria her Department uses to decide whether people can make an application for universal credit by telephone.

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

Any claimant may claim universal credit by telephone. Each request will be considered on its merits, through discussions between the Department and individuals to see which method of claiming is most suitable and beneficial. After those discussions, phone claims are available to any individual who wishes to proceed with one.

Photo of Rosie Cooper Rosie Cooper Labour, West Lancashire

What efforts are made to engage by telephone with those who are considered to be in need of making a claim, who may include elderly, disabled or rural claimants with poor or no internet access?

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

There is a freephone line. Last month, in February, 1.2 million calls were received on the universal credit full service line, and for those who are particularly vulnerable, home visits are also available.

Photo of Desmond Swayne Desmond Swayne Conservative, New Forest West

How fast will the fast track be for cases of mental disability?

Photo of Alok Sharma Alok Sharma The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions

We are starting on this work; I made reference to the speech that the Secretary of State made earlier this month. However, if my right hon. Friend has a specific case to raise, we will be very happy to take it up.