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 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

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 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

Complaints and appeals are different

We can’t treat a complaint as an appeal against a benefit decision, overpayment decision, child maintenance assessment or sanction.

If you think the decision is wrong, you can ask us to explain it to you. We’ll send you a written statement of reasons, if you ask for one. If you understand the decision but still do not agree with it, you can ask us to look at it again – this is called a ‘mandatory reconsideration’. You must explain why you think the decision is wrong and include any evidence you have to support this.

For some decisions, you may be able to appeal to an independent tribunal, which can change the decision if it agrees that it is wrong.

There are time limits for asking us to look at decisions again and for appealing.

There is more information about appeals and time limits in our appeals guide.

Complaining 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

You can use the 0845 code to call any of our 0345 numbers. Check with your phone company which code is cheaper for you.

Jobcentre Plus Phone Textphone Welsh
Find your nearest Jobcentre Plus office 0345 604 3719 0345 608 8551 0345 604 4248
The Pension Service Phone Textphone Welsh
Find your local pension centre

If you’re abroad, contact the International Pension Centre
0345 606 0265 0345 722 4433
Benefit Phone Textphone Welsh
Jobseeker’s Allowance,
Income Support,
Incapacity Benefit,
Employment and Support Allowance
0345 608 8545 0345 608 8551 0345 600 3018
Maternity Allowance 0345 608 8610 0345 608 8553 0345 608 8674
Bereavement 0345 608 8601 0345 608 8551 0345 608 8772
Social Fund 0345 603 6967 0345 608 8553 0345 608 8756
Disability Living Allowance 0345 712 3456 0345 722 4433
Personal Independence Payment 0345 850 3322 0345 601 6677
Universal Credit 0345 600 0723 0345 600 0743 0345 600 3018
State Pension

If you’re abroad, contact the International Pension Centre
0345 606 0265 0345 722 4433
Carer’s Allowance

Monday to Thursday, 8:30am to 5pm and Fridays, 8:30am to 4:30pm
0345 608 4321 0345 604 5312
Attendance Allowance 0345 605 6055 0345 604 5312
Vaccine Damage Payments 01772 899 944
Debt Management Phone Textphone Welsh
Debt Management services 0345 850 0293 0345 604 6697

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:

Department for Work and Pensions
PO Box 50101
London
SW1P 2WU