Most mobile calls to claim benefits will be free
Need to claim a benefit?
Call the national number: 0800 0 55 66 88
From next week, six of the biggest mobile phone network companies will no longer charge their customers for calls to DWP 0800 Benefit Claim lines.
Calls to claim benefits and state pension use 0800 numbers, and are already free to customers using BT land lines. But 12 per cent of UK households use only mobile phones.
Calls to around 70 of the DWP 0800 numbers will be free as of 18 January. These numbers are used by people making initial claims for benefit and pensions and to request emergency payments, such as crisis loans.
Dates for the call rate to change vary
The calls will be free from 18 January if your phone is with:
* Tesco Mobile
The free calls will start as of 25 January if your phone is with:
* Virgin Mobile
Together, the six companies with whom the DWP has signed agreements cover over 90 per cent of the UKs mobile market.
Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, Yvette Cooper, said: ""We don't want people who lose their jobs or the poorest pensioners to be penalised when they need to claim benefits.""