Universal Credit: Scotland

Department for Work and Pensions written question – answered on 29th April 2020.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Owen Thompson Owen Thompson SNP Whip

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, how many staff are providing telephone support for people in Scotland trying to apply for universal credit; and what the average call waiting time is for those applicants.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

We are unable to extract data for calls from claimants in Scotland from national data.

As of 24 April 2020 the Department has around 7.5 thousand full time equivalent (FTE) staff taking calls from claimants in Great Britain, this includes contracted supplier resource and DWP colleagues who also case manage claims. For week commencing 20 April 2020 the combined average waiting time for all Universal Credit service options on the national Freephone Universal Credit helpline was 22 minutes and 58 seconds, for the Department’s supplier (Serco) who handle inbound calls for new claims this was under one minute.

People making new claims for Universal Credit in fact no longer need to call the Department as part of the process and we have communicated that widely. 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.

Does this answer the above question?

Yes1 person thinks so

No0 people think not

Would you like to ask a question like this yourself? Use our Freedom of Information site.