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Social Security Benefits: Telephone Services

Question for Department for Work and Pensions

UIN 168985, tabled on 3 September 2018

To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, what the average waiting time has been for calls to the (a) employment support allowance and (b) the personal independence payment helpline in each of the last five years.

Answered on

12 September 2018 directs Employment and Support Allowance enquiries to the Jobcentre Plus Benefit line (0800 169 0310), where they are referred to the appropriate team, and Personal Independence Payment enquiries to the PIP helpline (0800 121 4433). These do not include new claims.

The table below shows the average speed of answer (in hours:minutes:seconds) for telephone calls to the Jobcentre Plus Benefit Enquiry Line relating to Employment and Support Allowance enquiries and the Personal Independence Payment enquiries received for the last 5 years from April to March for each year. No data is available for November 2017 due to migration to the NGCC telephony system.

Average Speed of Answer

Employment Support Allowance Enquiries

Personal Independence Payment Enquiries

2013 – 2014



2014 – 2015



2015 – 2016



2016 – 2017



2017 – 2018



The Average Speed of Answer is the average customer wait time from the point of entering a queue to connection to an agent. This figure excludes any time spent in pre-queue messaging and any wait time for calls ultimately abandoned by callers.