The DWP cut-off almost a million callers to a single telephone helpline in the space of a month, official figures have revealed.

In a written parliamentary answer, DWP minister Laura Trott disclosed that between 27 January 26 March 2023, 1,007,868 calls were made to the Future Pension Centre helpline.

Of these, 47,345 were answered.

18,006 calls were abandoned.

And a staggering 942,517 calls were cut-off by the DWP

That means a shameful 94% of all calls were deliberately disconnected.

Back in May we were arguing that the DWP needed to come clean about how many calls to the PIP helpline have been cut-off in this way. This shock statistic makes an answer to our freedom of information request on the subject even more urgent.

You can read the full written answer on the Future Pension Centre helpline here.

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  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    renoclaf · 11 months ago
    Why did only the first part of my comment appear - what happened to the rest?
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    renoclaf · 11 months ago
    Reading other people's comments on here, together with my own personal experiences in the last 2 months, when trying to deal with P.I.P claims, leads me to conclude that the whole system is not fit for purpose. In fact, it is quite clearly detrimental to the lives of the, often very vulnerable, people trying to make a claim.
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    Bev · 11 months ago
    Cut off 3 times
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    SAM · 11 months ago
    I was one of those who was disconnected 15 times in 1 day trying to call PIP line regarding my review; recieved by DWP 05/01/23 as by blue badge expires 3 days before my current award. 16th call 1hrs 37m on hold I Was told there is currently a 12 month back log of even looking at my review and i would be sent a letter in July with an extension most likely...shambles
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    Arthur · 11 months ago
    Anybody who needs to contact the DWP by phone is nearly always guaranteed a nightmare having to at best spend a long (hours) time trying to reach a human being to speak to after which you spend hours,days and weeks wondering if they actually did anything with the information they supposedly desperately need to deal with your claim. 
    Hopefully if you are lucky after spending weeks or more stressed,anxious and often terrified they get it right you get what you should get and basically get to eat pay, bills and generally struggle.
    This is of course if you are lucky enough to get through,stay connected and not get left listening to static or music that is seemingly chosen to drive you insane before you are disconnected meaning you have go through the nightmare all over again.
    If you are unlucky you will after many repeated attempts finally succeed getting through you find weeks later your information even your entire claim has disappeared.
    It happens too much to not be a deliberate attempt to make give up or to give them a reason like running over a time limit to end your claim or suspend it.
    Given that there seems to be plans to bring in ever more automated systems I doubt this will get better.

  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    John Plumridge · 11 months ago
    I am trying to contact the PIP line to notify them of a change in my sons circumstances which will probably reduce his benefit. They have cut me off six time and even contacting my MP who spoke to them has not produced a call back. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Maureen · 11 months ago
    I need a PIP review, form has not arrived and clock is ticking, I tried 17 times to get through and was in a queue only to be cut off as work had stopped for the day. I tried again and again, held for 40 minutes and was told the return date would be amended but a new form not sent as there’s been a bank holiday even though it was posted 2 weeks ago. Needless to say it didn’t come, tried 8 times to get through, cut off 3 times, held for 69 minutes to be told form cannot be emailed and printed off, cannot collect from anywhere else, cannot be completed online so another would be sent. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Alison · 11 months ago
    This happened to me when trying to request an extension for PIP review form to be in. Thanks to this site, I knew this would happen but wanted to say I had tried calling and been cut off, in my letter asking for extension. My only complaint is that when the DWP called back to give me a 2 month extension, there was no confirmation email or letter to this effect. So I’m hoping they don’t claim they never made this call to me. I hate thinking this way, but I wouldn’t trust them at all.
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    GG · 11 months ago
    I called the PIP helpline yesterday afternoon Tuesday 6th June 2023. I waited patiently listening to the constant switch between "our lines are busy" message and the irritating music for 1 hour 11 minutes and 53 seconds. You won't get to speak to anyone for at least 1 hour. Only for an error message to be played followed by the line cutting off!!!

    I called back to hear "our lines are now closed." What absolute nonsense!!! 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    GG · 11 months ago
    I called the PIP helpline yesterday afternoon Tuesday 6th June 2023. I waited patiently listening to the constant switch between "our lines are busy" message and the irritating music for 1 hour 11 minutes and 53 seconds. You won't get to speak to anyone for at least 1 hour. Only for an error message to be played followed by the line cutting off!!!

    I called back to hear "our lines are now closed." What absolute nonsense!!! 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Janet Atkinson · 11 months ago
    I was waiting to get an answer for just short of an hr before being cruelly cut off!!
    Then my illness prevented me from calling or writing before my cut-off date, nice fine for my trouble.
    They know my number, so probably were aware that I had tried calling. It's just a way of getting money out of people I'm sure. 
  • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
    Rosie · 11 months ago
    It would be more honest if they just said "all our lines are busy, please call back later." The frustrating fact is that you go through a whole load of options "1 for this, 2 for that, etc" give your date of birth and whatever else they ask you for, AND THEN get cut off!  Back in the day you would get an engaged signal straight away if the person you wanted was on the phone, so you knew exactly where you stood from the get-go. At least all these helplines are free now; the fact that you used to have to pay to hang on for hours was something that used to make my blood boil!!
    • Thank you for your comment. Comments are moderated before being published.
      MrFibro · 11 months ago
      @Rosie Rosie,

      The DWP is hoping claimants who desperately need to get in contact with a call handler, give up, and go and find a zero contract slave low paid job.
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