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.

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

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.

How to complain

If you’d like to complain any aspect of the service you’ve received, 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
  • 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

Who to contact

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

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

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 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.

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 to investigate.

Who to contact

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

Find out about call charges.

Access to Work

Telephone: 0800 121 7479
Textphone: 0800 121 7579
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 121 7479
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7:30pm

Attendance Allowance

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

Carer’s Allowance

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

Child maintenance

Contact the Child Maintenance Service or Child Support Agency.

Death and bereavement benefits

Telephone: 0800 731 0139
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0139
Welsh language telephone: 0800 731 0453
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Debt Management

Telephone: 0800 916 0647
Textphone: 0800 916 0651
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 916 0647
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Disability Living Allowance (DLA) for people aged under 65

Telephone: 0800 121 4600
Textphone: 0800 121 4523
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 121 4600
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7:30pm

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

Telephone: 0800 731 0122
Textphone: 0800 731 0317
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 731 0122
Monday to Friday, 8am to 7:30pm

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), including ‘new style’ ESA

Telephone: 0800 169 0310
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
NGT text relay (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 6pm

Incapacity Benefit

Telephone: 0800 169 0310
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
NGT text relay (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 6pm

Income Support

Telephone: 0800 169 0310
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
NGT text relay (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 6pm

Jobcentre Plus

Telephone: 0800 169 0190
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0190
Welsh language telephone: 0800 169 0207
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Find your nearest Jobcentre Plus office.

Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA), including ‘new style’ JSA

Make an online complaint about JSA.

Telephone: 0800 169 0310
Textphone: 0800 169 0314
NGT text relay (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 6pm

Maternity Allowance

Telephone: 0800 169 0283
Textphone: 0800 169 0286
NGT text relay (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

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

Telephone: 0800 121 4433
Textphone: 0800 121 4493
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 121 4433
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

State Pension and the Pension Service

Telephone: 0800 731 0469
Textphone: 0800 731 0464
NGT text relay (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

Find your local pension centre.

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

Social Fund

Telephone: 0800 169 0140
Textphone: 0800 169 0240
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 169 0140
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Universal Credit

Make an online complaint about Universal Credit.

Helpline: if you have an online Universal Credit account

Telephone: 0800 328 5644
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
NGT text relay (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

Helpline: if you do not have an online Universal Credit account

Telephone: 0800 328 9344
Textphone: 0800 328 1344
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 0800 328 9344
Welsh language: 0800 328 1744
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

Vaccine Damage Payments

Telephone: 01772 899 944
NGT text relay (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone): 18001 then 01772 899 944
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

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