Complaints procedure

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


Guidance on how to complain

  1. Before you make a complaint

  2. Contact the office you’ve been dealing with

  3. Ask for your complaint to go to a senior manager

  4. Wait for our final response

  5. Contact the Independent Case Examiner

1. Before you make a complaint

You can make a complaint if you’re unhappy with the service provided by DWP, for example if:

  • mistakes have been made
  • there were unreasonable delays
  • you feel you’ve been treated poorly
  • you haven’t been kept informed

A complaint is defined as any expression of dissatisfaction about the service provided which is not resolved by operational staff as normal business.

We will not investigate complaints:

  • about government policy or law
  • that have already been investigated or are currently being investigated by the Independent Case Examiner or the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman
  • that are, or have been, subject to legal proceedings, including legal settlements

Challenge or appeal a benefit decision

You cannot make a complaint to challenge a benefit decision (this is known as a ‘mandatory reconsideration’) or appeal against a benefit decision, overpayment decision, child maintenance assessment or sanction.

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

If you disagree with the decision in a mandatory reconsideration notice, you can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal.

State Pension age changes

At present, we are not investigating complaints about 1950s women and State Pension age changes.

We stopped investigating these complaints on 30 November 2018 when the issue went before the High Court. Both the High Court and the Court of Appeal have given judgment on this matter, in favour of the government. The Supreme Court refused Permission to Appeal but the claimants have 6 months from the date of that decision to appeal to the European Court of Human Rights.

In the meantime, the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman began an investigation. DWP will not investigate a matter that is being considered by the Ombudsman.

If you have already complained to us, we will write again to inform you of the next steps.

We will continue to investigate complaints not related to State Pension age changes under the normal DWP complaints procedure.

2. Contact the office you’ve been dealing with

If you’d like to complain about any aspect of the service you’ve received, let the office you have been dealing with know as soon as possible. 

You can contact them by phone, in person or in writing. Universal Credit claimants can also use their journal. 

You need to let them know:

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

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.

Who to contact

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

If you live in Northern Ireland, go to the Department for Communities website for more information.

To complain about an organisation that provides DWP services, for example employment programmes or health assessment providers, contact them directly. If you don’t agree with their response, they will tell you how to take things further.

Find out about call charges.

Access to Work complaints

Telephone: 0800 121 7479
Textphone: 0800 121 7579
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 121 7479
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Attendance Allowance complaints

Telephone: 0800 731 0122
Textphone: 0800 731 0317
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0122
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Carer’s Allowance complaints

Telephone: 0800 731 0297
Textphone: 0800 731 0317
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0297
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Child maintenance complaints

Contact the Child Maintenance Service or Child Support Agency.

Death and bereavement benefits complaints

Telephone: 0800 151 2012
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 151 2012
Welsh language telephone: 0800 731 0453
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Debt Management complaints

Telephone: 0800 916 0647
Textphone: 0800 916 0651
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 916 0647
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7.30pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7.30pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Read the Debt Management customer service standards.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged under 65 complaints

Telephone: 0800 121 4600
Textphone: 0800 121 4523
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 121 4600
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged 65 or over complaints

Telephone: 0800 731 0122
Textphone: 0800 731 0317
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0122
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), including New Style ESA complaints

Telephone: 0800 169 0310
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0310
Welsh language telephone: 0800 328 1744
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Incapacity Benefit complaints

Telephone: 0800 169 0310
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0310
Welsh language telephone: 0800 328 1744
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Income Support complaints

Telephone: 0800 169 0310
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0310
Welsh language telephone: 0800 328 1744
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Jobcentre Plus complaints

Send your complaint by post to your local Jobcentre Plus office. Find your nearest Jobcentre Plus office.

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), including New Style JSA complaints

Make an online complaint about JSA.

Telephone: 0800 169 0310
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0310
Welsh language telephone: 0800 328 1744
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Maternity Allowance complaints

Telephone: 0800 169 0283
Textphone: 0800 169 0286
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0283
Welsh language telephone: 0800 169 0296
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Personal Independence Payment (PIP) complaints

Telephone: 0800 121 4433
Textphone: 0800 121 4493
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 121 4433
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

State Pension and the Pension Service complaints

Telephone: 0800 731 0469
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0469
Welsh language telephone: 0800 731 0453
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

If you’re abroad, contact the International Pension Centre.

Social Fund complaints

Telephone: 0800 169 0140
Textphone: 0800 169 0240
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0140
Monday to Friday, 8am to 5pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Universal Credit complaints

Make an online complaint about Universal Credit.

Universal Credit helpline

Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
Relay UK (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 328 5644
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

British Sign Language (BSL) video relay service
Watch a video to check if you can use the service.
Go to the video relay service.
Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 5pm Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Check if you can use the video relay service

The video relay service uses a free plugin. You may need to change the security settings on your device to install this.

Check if you can use the video relay service on a mobile or tablet

General complaints about the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

If you have a general complaint about the Department for Work and Pensions itself which is not related to service you have received, write to:

DWP Complaints
Post Handling Site B
Wolverhampton
WV99 2GY

3. Ask for your complaint to go to a senior manager

If you’re not happy with the response from the team you’ve been dealing with, you can ask them to pass your complaint on to a senior manager.

A dedicated member of our Complaints team will then contact you within 15 working days, usually by phone, to talk about your complaint and agree how to investigate it. They will tell you the outcome or when you can expect a response, if it will take longer.

Coronavirus (COVID-19)

DWP is taking steps to make sure we can continue to deliver essential services, while protecting the wellbeing of our staff and our customers.

Our priority is to make sure customers continue to receive their payments and to process new benefit claims.

Unfortunately, this may affect the delivery of some other services. This includes responding to complaints, which may take us longer than usual. In these exceptional circumstances, we ask anyone who has already submitted a complaint to be patient and we will respond to you as soon as we can.

4. Wait for our final response

You will receive a final response by telephone or letter from the DWP Complaints team. This will tell you the outcome of your complaint, and how to contact the Independent Case Examiner if you are not satisfied. 

5. Contact the Independent Case Examiner

You must have had a final response from the DWP complaints team before you contact the Independent Case Examiner.

If you’re not happy with the final response from the DWP Complaints team, you can ask the Independent Case Examiner to look at your complaint. 

You must contact them within 6 months of getting the final response from the DWP. They may ask to see a copy of your final response, if you received it by letter.

Find out how to contact the Independent Case Examiner.

Service standards

Read our customer charter.

DWP complaints data

Read details of the number of complaints received about DWP in each financial year.