Category Archives: Welfare

Ring the DWP for FREE

Use the following numbers to contact the DWP for free.



JCP – Job Centre Plus

NISSA – Northern Ireland Social Security Agency

PDCS – Pensions, Disability & Carers Service

TPS – The Pension Service


AA – Attendance

DLA – Disability Living Allowance

ESA – Employment & Support Allowance

IB – Incapacity Benefit

IS – Income Support

PIP – Personal Independence Payment


UPDATE 15-12-2016 *Many of the freephone numbers have been pulled by the DWP who now want you to pay for your enquiries! Numbers which have been cancelled are deleted with a strikethrough.




PIP New Claims Textphone



Benefit Enquiry Line for AA, DLA, Carer’s Allowance & Carer’s Credit



State Pension Textphone



Jobcentre Plus Textphone



Jobcentre Plus – Welsh



DLA / AA Main Benefit Enquiry Line



Pension Credit Application Line



Customer First Line



First Contact New Claims



First Contact New Claims – Welsh



New Claims Crisis Loans



New Claims Crisis Loans – Welsh



ESA Fresh Claims



Customer Payment Centre – Shared Services



Method of Payment Reform



DWP Emergency Line



DWP Emergency Line – Welsh



New Claims Crisis Loans



Pension Credit



State Pension New Claims



State Pension New Claims – Welsh



State Pension New Claims



Pension Credit New Claims



IB (IS) Re-assessment



PIP Fresh Claims
(not operational until PIP goes live in NI)



PIP New Claims Service Line





This list is currently being reviewed and is expected to be slightly amended/updated in the near future



Did you know that there is STILL a freephone number for directory enquiries? It’s run by 118 and if you can just put up with a little advert, then you can place a free enquiry. The number is:

0800 118 3733


Need Extra Time Form Filling?

Remember, you are allowed an extra 2 weeks extension on form filling but you’ll need to request this first by phoning the appropriate number. This may give you extra time to contact health professionals or consultants who can support your application. If you can get support from a doctor – fantastic; but if you can get the support of a consultant – or someone higher up in the medical profession – then you stand a better chance of winning your claim.

Relative Spending on Benefits across Europe

or “How tight-fisted is our government with benefits?”

After its victory in the United Kingdom general election, 1945 the Labour Party pledged to eradicate the Giant Evils of society*, and undertook policy measures to provide for the people of the United Kingdom “from the cradle to the grave.”

*The Beveridge Report of 1942 had identified five “Giant Evils” in society: squalor, ignorance, want, idleness and disease. Beveridge recommended a national, compulsory, flat rate insurance scheme which would combine health care, unemployment and retirement benefits.

Around the same time other Western European Countries saw similar measures being taken out, and soon national insurance schemes became de rigueur across the continent.

Spending on these schemes has gradually risen over time but in many European countries the actual amount given in benefits is a hotly debated subject – generally the conservative right-wing has discouraged a welfare system, arguing that such systems are open for abuse and that they make people less independent more reliant on the state. The more socialist and liberal opinions feel that welfare systems are necessary for maintaining basic human rights and that benefits should, at the very least, provide subsistence payments to the most needy in society.

It doesn’t take much analysing to see how meagre the benefits system is in our country – considering that we are one of the richest countries in Europe. It seems that continental Europe are willing to give their citizens what amounts to a fair standard of living, whereas in the UK, we see repeated attacks on the poorest in society – taking back billions from the budget in the name of ‘austerity’.

On the continent – when workers are unfortunate to lose their jobs, or to become sick; the state are willing to continue to pay them the majority of their wage, until they are able to find work again.

Thanks to the Coalition Government, Britain now has some of the lowest benefits in Europe


Petition: Come clean about cuts affecting disabled people

Petition to Ian Duncan Smith and the DWP created by DPAC;

Disabled People have had enough…..

“I say to those watching today and who are genuinely sick, disabled or are retired. You have nothing to fear. This government and this party don’t regard caring for the needy as a burden. It is a proud duty to provide financial security to the most vulnerable members of our society and this will not change. This is our contract with the most vulnerable.”

Iain Duncan Smith – October 2010

As disabled people we’ve spent the last five years enduring attack after attack-we’ve fought back in any way we can. But fear and anxiety are now part of everyday life. Over the past five years we’ve seen our support and whatever security and peace of mind we once had being slowly and methodically being stripped from us .Through a combination of ‘reform’ and the notion of austerity we have been hit by cuts and have borne the brunt of the Coalitions ideological determination to reduce the welfare state.

Basic Human Rights

There’s plenty of statistical evidence to show how the abolition of the Disability Living Allowance, the proposed closure of the Independent Living Fund, the Work Capability Assessment, sanctions and savage cuts to local authority budgets have removed our basic human rights and tried to remove our dignity and fight-and these are just some of the cuts. We’ve also been hit by cuts to our rights to inclusive education,cuts to legal aid, cuts impacting on the right to a home,cuts to our travel support, NHS cuts and many more.

Disabled people are targeted 9 times more than most citizens

Simon Duffy of the Centre for Welfare Reform has calculated the scale of the unfairness, saying simply that when it comes to cuts,‘Disabled people are targeted 9 times more than most citizens. People needing social care are targeted 19 times more than most citizens.’

We have been dismayed at the lack of opposition to these cuts, from some politicians and from some of our fellow citizens. However, we believe the public has fallen prey to a propaganda campaign which has led them to believe that many of us are scroungers and fraudsters. Remember when Grant Shapps said that almost a million people had dropped claims for disability benefit to avoid being assessed, the implication being that they were all fraudsters? This was headline news in the Daily Mail, but when the UK Statistics Authority rebuked Shapps for completely misrepresenting the situation, there was very little coverage, so people were left with a totally false impression.

“grave and systematic violations” of the Human Rights of Disabled People

In 2014 we learned that the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is said to be conducting a confidential inquiry into the “grave and systematic violations” of the human rights of disabled people in the UK.

Welfare Reform Deaths

Every week we learn of more people who have lost their lives due to government policies. We try to keep a records although we know there must be more, and we know that these deaths represent just the peak of a mountain of misery that is being heaped upon people whose lives are already difficult. We believe that if they knew the truth, the ordinary people of this country would be appalled at these policies and their results.

We know there are more cuts to come, both the Tories and Labour have vowed to continue their notion of austerity. The Tories have said there will be 12 billion pounds of further cuts

​The IFS have said we face cuts of 21 billion by 2020.​ Leaks say that again these will target disabled people and what’s left of the vital welfare support that many of us have contributed to so that there is a welfare state and safety net in place for all when they need it. We’ve had enough…

Its time all political parties came clean on further cuts to disabled peoples support, instead of false promises and lies

Please, oppose any further cuts to vital support for disabled people and those with chronic health conditions by signing with us below.

Warwickshire local welfare scheme

Welfare in Warwickshire

The Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme distributes help to the most vulnerable residents at times of unavoidable crisis.

The scheme has two strands; immediate need and planned need. It supports eligible Warwickshire residents when they have no other means of help and are in a situation that poses a serious risk to the health and safety of them or their immediate family.

It is not a cash benefit. It provides the most basic and essential help – food and energy. This is provided either in emergency food parcels with three days supplies or with credit for energy.

Who is eligible?

Applicants need to be legally resident in the UK and satisfy Warwickshire County Council that:

  • They are aged 16 or over
  • Have no other access to funds or sufficient resources to pay for food or heat
  • Their situation poses a serious health or safety risk to themselves or their immediate family
  • They have been a resident of Warwickshire for the last six months, or three of the last five years
  • Or, in the case of members of the armed forces, if they do not meet residency criteria, they should demonstrate a strong connection to Warwickshire

Who is not eligible?

  • Someone in hospital or a care home unless their discharge is imminent
  • Someone subject to immigration control by virtue of the Immigration and Asylum Act
  • Applicants or their immediate family who have received three awards for food, or two awards for energy, household goods or clothing, within a 12 month period
  • Prisoners and people lawfully detained
  • Someone from abroad who fails or would fail the habitual residence test for the purpose of welfare benefits

Help available

The scheme also provides help to those whose needs are more long term and who are vulnerable through an ongoing set of circumstances rather than an immediate crisis. This is known as planned need.

Typically, this includes care leavers, victims of domestic violence, former armed forces personnel or those resettling in a community after a custodial term.

Planned help might take the form of help in furnishing accommodation with basic furniture and appliances. Preventative measures look to address problems at source and tackle them before they happen. One-off grants are available for organisations to offer training in life skills – cooking, finance or ICT, for example – to vulnerable people.

The Local Welfare Scheme will also point customers in the direction of other agencies and organisations who can offer help and support.


If you think that you, or someone that you are helping, meet the criteria for help under the Warwickshire Local Welfare Scheme, call one of the trained advisors.

They will ask questions about your circumstances that must be answered honestly.

If you qualify for assistance under the scheme, you will be able to collect vouchers or food parcels from one of the scheme’s partners in your area.

Warwickshire residents can apply by:

phoning 0800 4081448 – charges from mobiles may vary dependent on your network.
phoning 01926 359182
emailing with your telephone number and we will call you back.


Warwickshire Welfare Scheme


A list of completely ridiculous benefit sanctions

  • You work for 20 years, then because you haven’t had the process clearly explained to you, you miss an appointment, so you get sanctioned for 3 weeks. (source: Councillor John O’Shea)
  • You’re on a workfare placement, and your jobcentre appointment comes round. The jobcentre tells you to sign on then go to your placement which you do. The workfare placement reports you for being late and you get sanctioned for 3 months. (Source: DefiniteMaybe post on Mumsnet forums)
  • You’re five minutes late for your appointment, you show the advisor your watch which is running late, but you still get sanctioned for a month (source: Clydebank Post)
  • You apply for more jobs than required by your jobseeker’s agreement, but forgot to put down that you checked the local paper (which you’ve been specifically instructed to do via a jobseeker’s direction) so you get sanctioned (source: Steve Rose on twitter – part 1 . part 2)
  • You’re on contributions based JSA (which is JSA paid on the basis of National Insurance you’ve paid in, not on your level of income) and get your appointment day wrong and turn up on Thursday instead of Tuesday so you get a four week sanction (source: Cheesy Monkey comment)
  • It’s Christmas Day. You don’t do any jobsearch, because it’s Christmas Day. So you get sanctioned. For not looking to see if anyone has advertised a new job on Christmas Day. (source: Poverty Alliance)
  • You get an interview but it’s on the day of your nan’s funeral. You have 3 interviews the day before, and you try to rearrange the interview, but the company reports you to the jobcentre and you get sanctioned for failing to accept a job. (source: @TSAAPG on twitter – part 1 . part 2)
  • You get given the wrong forms, get sanctioned for not doing the right forms. (Source: Adventures in Workfare blog )
  • You’re sick and miss an appointment, but you’ve already missed one so you get sanctioned (Source: @thinktyler on twitter. Rules actually state you can miss a grand total of two appointments for illness each year – particularly harsh if you’re sick and have been wrongly kicked off ESA by ATOS)
  • You don’t apply for an IT job that needs skills you don’t have so you get sanctioned. (Source: Geminisnake on Urban75 forums )
  • You volunteer in a youth club. For some reason the jobcentre thinks this is paid work so they sanction you. (source: @ukeleleKris on twitter )
  • You attend a work programme interview so you miss your jobcentre appointement and get sanctioned (Source: CAB )
  • You’ve got no money to travel to look for work so you get sanctioned (source: CAB)
  • You have an interview which runs long, so you arrive at your jobcentre appointment 9 minutes late and get sanctioned for a month (source: jsdk posting on Consumer Action Group forums)
  • You’ve been unemployed for seven months and are forced onto a workfare scheme but can’t afford to travel to the shop. You offer to work in a different branch you can walk to but are refused and get sanctioned for not attending your workfare placement. (Source: Caroline Lucas MP)
  • You attend a family funeral and miss your jobcentre appointment so you get sanctioned. (Source: Derek Twigg MP)
  • You have a training appointment at the same time as your jobcentre appointment, you tell the jobcentre you won’t be coming but they say you have to, and to get a letter from your new training organisation. Your training organisation says they don’t provide letters. (Source: Russell Brown MP)
  • You are easily confused or have poor English language skills, you will be disproportionately targetted for sanctions (Source: Fiona Taggart MP)
  • You retire on the grounds of ill health and claim ESA. You go to your assessment and during the assessment you have a heart attack, so the nurse says they have to stop the assessment. You get sanctioned for not withdrawing from your assessment (Source: Debbie Abrahams MP)
  • You get a job, isn’t that great? The job doesn’t start for two weeks, so you don’t look for work in those two weeks, and get sanctioned for it. (Souce: The Guardian )