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Since mid-March we have seen a huge volume of calls to the Universal Credit helpline, with over 2 million calls on a single day at one point. We are aware that this demand has meant that some claimants were not able to get through.
People making new claims for Universal Credit no longer need to call the Department as part of the process. Once they have completed their online application we will call them if we need to check any of the information they have given us. We have also introduced new processes to ease pressure on waiting times for identity verification over the phone and other processes.
The Department’s priority is to continue to ensure those who are entitled to benefit receive the support they need at a time when new claims for Universal Credit are at an unprecedented level.
Since 16 March 2020, we have received more than 1.5 million new claims for Universal Credit. 10,000 members of staff from other parts of DWP are being redeployed to support work on new claims and we are urgently recruiting additional people to assist with the processing of claims.