DWP hit with hundreds of complaints as households left furious over benefits

Complaints to the Department for Work and Pensions rose over the last year after hundreds of people said the service was not good enough. Over 20,000 official complaints were lodged in the year to April by members of the public who were unhappy with their situation.

The Government department handles benefit and pension payments and also decided who qualifies for certain payments and whether people continue to receive them. Any changes around payments are likely to spark anger or frustration and it's likely some complaints were related to this.

Benefits not arriving on time, being cut or stopped altogether may have been among reasons people were left fuming. It comes amid a planned DWP crackdown around who should get certain benefits.

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Latest data showed DWP complaints increased over the last 12 months. A total of 23,748 were lodged in the year to April 2024.

That was up from 22,101 over the previous 12-month period. The overall number of complaints is tiny compared with how many people the DWP pays benefits and pensions to across the UK, although not everyone unhappy with their situation will lodge a formal complaint.

Reasons for individual complaints were not provided. Some complaints were reviewed by the Independent Case Examiner, which scrutinises Government departments.

Of 5,634 cases sent to the ICE, 1,756 - around a third - were "accepted for investigation". Details of latest complaints come against a backdrop of tougher Government rhetoric on benefits and rising concern from campaigners.

The Government is planning a shake-up of Personal Independence Payments (PIP), which could see some claimants lose cash payments, and wants to make it harder for workers to take time off sick.

Some carers have also been told to repay money they were unknowingly overpaid in Carer's Allowance.