Personal Independence Payment

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 26th May 2016.

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Photo of Frank Field Frank Field Chair, Work and Pensions Committee, Chair, Work and Pensions Committee

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, on how many occasions has the personal independence payment (PIP) telephone has been unobtainable to the public in 2016; and how many people calling to enquire about PIP have been affected by those incidents.

Photo of Justin Tomlinson Justin Tomlinson Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for Work and Pensions) (Disabled People)

The total number of calls made to Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Claims and Enquiry lines that were unable to access our services due to heavy demand at peak periods including customers receiving a busy or engaged tone are set out below, this covers the period 1 January to 30 April 2016:

Calls Received

Calls not Connected

% Not connected

PIP Claims




PIP Enquiries




The department employs the following contingency arrangements to reduce the level of unanswered calls::

  • assigning staff that are undertaking clerical work to take calls for busy periods,
  • opening extra hours and ask for staff to volunteer to take additional calls
  • postponing non-priority offline time (L+D, team meetings etc.) to meet the demands of the customers
  • increasing the amount of open lines before a call is blocked by the network.

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