Earlier this month, I had received a number of complaints from constituents regarding their dealings with the Department for Work and Pensions. These complaints were in relation to long waiting times on the phone when trying to contact the Department, and also delays in receiving their first State Pension payment. My questions to the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions were as follows:
- What steps her Department is taking to reduce phone call waiting times for service users trying to contact her Department's services.
- What progress her Department is making on ensuring that eligible pensioners receive their state pension on time.
The answers to these questions are below:
- The Department prioritises resource to our telephony services according to forecast demand. In periods of unexpected high demand (such as experienced through the pandemic) waiting times may vary while the Department rebalances across services, or secures external resource. The Department also continues to progress automation of services for those citizens able to self-serve to reduce demand and therefore wait times.
DWP is aware that a small number of new State Pension claims have been subject to delays in receiving payment.
The Department is working hard to clear the current backlog, many of which have accrued since the Covid Pandemic.
We are prioritising overdue payments and payments that are imminent within the next few weeks. Normal service will be resumed by the end of October 2021.
Claimants don’t need to act, we have identified the cases and will process them as soon as possible.