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Universal Credit: Telephone Applications

Volume 656: debated on Monday 18 March 2019

5. Which criteria her Department uses to decide whether people can make an application for universal credit by telephone. (909833)

Any claimant may claim universal credit by telephone. Each request will be considered on its merits, through discussions between the Department and individuals to see which method of claiming is most suitable and beneficial. After those discussions, phone claims are available to any individual who wishes to proceed with one.

What efforts are made to engage by telephone with those who are considered to be in need of making a claim, who may include elderly, disabled or rural claimants with poor or no internet access?

There is a freephone line. Last month, in February, 1.2 million calls were received on the universal credit full service line, and for those who are particularly vulnerable, home visits are also available.

We are starting on this work; I made reference to the speech that the Secretary of State made earlier this month. However, if my right hon. Friend has a specific case to raise, we will be very happy to take it up.