Complaints procedure

How to complain about the service you get from the Department for Work and Pensions or from an organisation that provides its services.

This complaints procedure applies to:

  • Jobcentre Plus
  • The Pension Service
  • Disability and Carers Service
  • DWP Debt Management

Child maintenance complaints follow a different procedure.

You can contact us about any aspect of the service you’ve received, including:

  • mistakes that have been made
  • unreasonable delays
  • how you’ve been treated
  • not being kept informed

If you disagree with a decision we’ve made, read Complaints, mandatory reconsiderations and appeals are different below.

How to complain

If you think we’ve got something wrong, let the office you have been dealing with know as soon as possible. We’ll do our best to put things right.

You can contact us by phone, in person or in writing. When you contact us, please tell us:

  • your National Insurance number – unless you are an employer
  • your full name, address and contact numbers
  • what happened, when it happened and how it affected you
  • what you want to happen to put things right

You can also make an online complaint about Jobseeker’s Allowance and Universal Credit

Who to contact

Use the contact details at the top of any letters we’ve sent you or use the Who to contact details below.

What happens next

If we’ve made a mistake, we’ll put it right as soon as possible and apologise immediately. If you’ve experienced unfair treatment or suffered financially, we may consider making a special payment to you.

If you’re not satisfied with our initial response, or we need to investigate further, you can ask for your complaint to go to a Complaint Resolution Manager.

They will contact you, usually by phone, to talk about your complaint and agree how to investigate it. They will contact you again within 15 working days to tell you the outcome or when you can expect a response, if it will take longer.

If the Complaint Resolution Manager doesn’t resolve your complaint

If the Complaint Resolution Manager doesn’t resolve your complaint, we’ll ask you if you want your complaint to go to a senior manager. If you agree, the senior manager will ask for an independent internal review of your complaint. They will contact you within 15 working days to tell you the outcome or when you can expect a response, if it will take longer.

If you’re not satisfied

If you’ve been through all our complaints stages, received our final response and still aren’t satisfied, you can ask the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) to look at your complaint. You must contact them within 6 months of getting our final response and send them a copy of it.

The Independent Case Examiner can’t look at matters of law or government policy. They won’t look at benefit or maintenance decisions, for example, because you can appeal against these.

If they accept your complaint, they will look at what happened and what we did about it. If they think we should have done more, they will ask us to put matters right. They will act as an impartial referee and you will not be charged for their service.

If you don’t agree with the response from the Independent Case Examiner, you can ask your MP (or any other MP) to send your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.

Service standards

Read our customer charter

Complaints, mandatory reconsiderations and appeals are different

We can’t treat a complaint as a challenge to a benefit decision (a request for ‘mandatory reconsideration’) or an appeal against a benefit decision, overpayment decision, child maintenance assessment or sanction.

Read about how to request a mandatory reconsideration of a benefits decision.

You can’t appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal about a benefits decision until you get a response to your mandatory reconsideration request. This is called a ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’. You can appeal to the tribunal if you think the decision in the mandatory reconsideration notice is wrong.

Complain about an organisation that provides a service for DWP

Other organisations sometimes provide DWP services, for example Work Programme providers. If you’re not satisfied with the service you’ve received from an organisation like this, complain to them first and give them a chance to put the matter right. If you don’t agree with their response, they must tell you how you can take your complaint further.

If you’re still not satisfied with their final response to your complaint, you can ask the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) to investigate.

Who to contact

Use the contact details at the top of any letters we’ve sent you or the details below.

Our services are available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, unless stated otherwise.

Find out about call charges

Jobcentre Plus Phone Textphone Welsh
Find your nearest Jobcentre Plus office 0800 169 0190 0800 169 0314 0800 169 0207
The Pension Service Phone Textphone Welsh
Find your local pension centre                  

If you’re abroad, contact the
International Pension Centre
0800 731 0469 0800 731 0464 0800 731 0453
Benefit Phone Textphone Welsh
Jobseeker’s Allowance,
Income Support,
Incapacity Benefit,
Employment and Support Allowance
0800 169 0310 0800 169 0314 0800 328 1744
Maternity Allowance 0800 169 0283 0800 169 0286 0800 169 0296
Bereavement 0800 731 0139 0800 169 0314 0800 731 0453
Social Fund 0800 169 0140 0800 169 0286 0800 169 0240
Disability Living Allowance for
people aged under 65
0800 121 4600 0800 121 4523
Personal Independence Payment 0800 121 4433 0800 121 4493
Universal Credit 0800 328 9344 0800 328 1344 0800 328 1744
State Pension

If you’re abroad, contact the
International Pension Centre
0800 731 0469 0800 731 0464 0800 731 0453
Carer’s Allowance

Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 5pm and
Fridays, 8:30am to 4:30pm
0800 731 0297 0800 731 0317
Attendance Allowance,
Disability Living Allowance for people
aged 65 or over
0800 731 0122 0800 731 0317
Vaccine Damage Payments 01772 899 944
Debt Management Phone Textphone Welsh
Debt Management services 0800 916 0647 0800 916 0651

Access to Work complaints

Telephone: 0800 121 7479
Textphone: 0800 121 7579

Child maintenance complaints

Contact the Child Maintenance Service or Child Support Agency.

Complaints about the department

If you have a complaint about the Department for Work and Pensions itself, write to:

DWP Complaints
Post Handling Site B
Wolverhampton
WV99 2GY