Call to claim
To make a claim for PIP you need to ring the PIP helpline and answer some questions. They then issue a form with a unique QR code for you to complete and return. It is possible to make a claim on a blank form, but this causes issues as the form cannot be “matched” to you the customer and can get “lost” in the system.
Not only has Jemima been on hold for minutes at a time her claim has been delayed as her claim has not actually been started. So, she is missing out on potential benefit payments. And no one cares!
The DWP have released figures showing that waiting times for ESA telephone enquiries have rocketed over the last five years.
The time taken you spend on hold before you get to speak to someone has risen from an average of 1 minute 25 seconds in 2013-2014 to an average of 13 minutes and one second in 2017-2018.
And that doesn’t include the people who give up and hang-up before they get an answer!
In relation to PIP, the wait times over the same period have increased from 2 minutes and 5 seconds to 4 minutes and 11 seconds.
A way to save money?
Is it any surprise? Is this a less than subtle way of pushing people into using online services rather than the telephone? I wonder how many people get so fed up they just give up on the whole idea of making a claim.
What can we do?
We are waiting for a suitable case to take to Tribunal to argue that the claim should be backdated to the date of the first call made by the claimant, even if they didn’t speak to anyone. If that could be you we’d like to hear from you.
If you haven’t been able to get through on the phone and would like a “blank” form we have one you can use and will gladly email it to you.
I’d also love to hear your experiences of trying to get through to the DWP on the phone. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org