DWP launches new service allowing people to make or manage someone else’s claim


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has introduced a new service allowing people to help someone they know with their claim for certain benefits.

The relaxation of current guidelines will mean that someone with a “genuine connection” to the claimant can help a family member, friend or neighbor by getting advice and information about their claim directly from the relevant benefit department.

They will also be able to manage their claim for them, but the DWP stipulates that they will need to have ‘written authority’ to do this or have the person claiming benefits with them when calling a helpline.

How it works

Getting advice and information about someone’s claim

The DWP states that how you can get advice and information depends on the benefits being claimed.

  • Universal Credit – you must get the person claiming to follow the ‘explicit consent’ process
  • Child Benefit – use the Child Benefit authorization service
  • Tax Credits – use the Tax Credit authorization service
  • Any other benefits – use the ‘alternative inquiry’ service

What you can use the alternative inquiry service for

You can find out certain information about someone else’s benefit claim.

This includes:

  • what stage a claim has reached
  • why and how a decision has been made about a claim
  • how the value of a claim has been calculated
  • what future action will be taken about a claim
  • what the next steps are for the person with the claim

You can also tell the helpline about a change in the person’s living situation, for example if they go into hospital.

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DWP will look into any changes before updating a claim.

What you cannot use the service for

You cannot get personal information about the person claiming benefits, like their:

  • address
  • date of birth
  • bank and building society account details
  • National Insurance number
  • telephone number

The DWP also advises: “You also cannot use the service to manage someone’s benefit claim, like appealing a decision on their behalf or ending their claim.”

Who can use the service

Anyone with a genuine connection to the person claiming benefits can use the alternative inquiry service.

That includes if you are calling:

  • on behalf of a family member or friend
  • as part of your job, for example if you’re a social worker, nurse or doctor or you work for an advice or welfare rights organization

How to use the service

Who you call depends on the benefit.

  • Attendance Allowance – contact the Attendance Allowance helpline at the Disability Service Center
  • Disability Living Allowance – contact the Disability Living Allowance helpline at the Disability Service Center
  • State Pension – contact the Pension Service
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP) – contact the PIP inquiry line
  • all other benefits, apart from Universal Credit, Child Benefit and Tax Credits – contact Jobcentre Plus


The change in rules could help more people claim benefits

It’s important that anyone using this service says that they are looking for an alternative inquiry into someone else’s benefit claim.

The call handler will check you have a genuine connection to the person claiming benefits.

This may involve asking you questions about:

  • the personal details of that person
  • the details of that person’s benefit claim
  • your telephone number or email address, if you’re calling as part of your job or on behalf of an organization
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They may also contact the person claiming benefits to check they’re happy for you to use the service.

If you are able to provide your genuine connection

The call handler will be able to help you.

If you want to use the service again on a later call, you may need to repeat the checks.

If you are unable to provide your genuine connection

You will not be able to use the service and the call handler may suggest other ways you can help the person with their claim.

Manage someone’s claim for them

You can manage someone’s claim for them if you have ‘written authority’.

This includes:

  • having a lasting power of attorney (LPA) or an enduring power of attorney (EPA) for the person claiming benefits
  • being a deputy for the person claiming benefits
  • being an appointee for the person claiming benefits

The DWP says you can help them with any type of benefit claim and you will be able to do things like appealing a decision on their behalf or ending their claim.

If you do not have written authority

You can still manage a claim by calling the helpline for the benefit. The person claiming the benefit will need to be with you when you call to complete security checks and agree to any decisions.

Which helpline you use depends on the benefit:

  • Universal Credit – contact the Universal Credit helpline
  • Attendance Allowance – contact the Attendance Allowance helpline at the Disability Service Center
  • Disability Living Allowance – contact the Disability Living Allowance helpline at the Disability Service Center
  • State Pension – contact the Pension Service
  • Personal Independence Payment – contact the PIP inquiry line
  • Child Benefit – contact the Child Benefit inquiries line
  • Tax Credits – contact the tax credits general inquiries line
  • all other benefits – contact Jobcentre Plus
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Full details of the service can be found on the GOV.UK website, here.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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