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Telephone Helplines

Volume 712: debated on Monday 29 June 2009

Questions

Asked by

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many telephone calls (a) in the past 12 months, and (b) in the past three months, were made to (1) all Social Fund helplines, (2) all crisis loans lines, (3) all crisis loans initial claim lines, (4) all crisis loans living expenses lines, and (5) all crisis loans initial claim living expenses lines. [HL4285]

To ask Her Majesty's Government how many telephone calls made to (a) all Social Fund helplines, (b) all crisis loans lines, (c) all crisis loans initial claim lines, (d) all crisis loans living expenses lines, and (e) all crisis loans initial claim living expenses lines, led to the caller speaking to a call-taker (1) in the past 12 months, and (2) in the past three months. [HL4286]

The information is not available in the requested format.

Calls made to the helplines are received into a queue and these are recorded as “calls offered”. At busy times, some calls may not reach the queue and will receive the busy tone; information on those calls is not available. Of those which are held in a queue, those calls which reach a member of staff are counted as “calls answered”.

All calls to crisis loan 0800 lines are for crisis loan living expenses claims. Other crisis loan applications for items such as new bedding or furniture are included within the 0845 Social Fund calls.

Calls to Social Fund 0845 lines include calls regarding all other elements of the Social Fund: budgeting loans; funeral payments; community care grants; and sure start maternity grants.

The following table shows the volume of calls made to both the 0800 crisis loan lines and to 0845 Social Fund lines between June 2008 and May 2009.

Calls to Crisis Loans (0800) lines

Calls Offered

Calls Answered

June 2008 to May 2009

4,356,080

4,017,709

Mar-09

247,955

179,927

Apr-09

275,350

188,760

May-09

242,042

165,768

Total

765,347

534,455

Calls to Social Fund (0845) lines

Calls Offered

Calls Answered

June 2008 to May 2009

2,927,692

2,572,262

Mar-09

542,603

470,690

Apr-09

471,792

420,474

May-09

488,579

436,920

Total

1,502,974

1,328,084

Source: Jobcentre Plus management information.