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Free Phone for benefits claim - 07-06-2007
A new telephone service to improve the way that people claim benefits and get back to work advice has been launched by Jobcentre Plus, announced Minister for Employment Jim Murphy.

Following customer feedback, a new national 0800 number has been introduced, which is free to call from landlines and will speed up the claims process. In most cases, customers will need to have only one conversation with an adviser to make their benefit claim, so benefits will be received more quickly.

Jim Murphy said:

"Last year we piloted the 0800 number and the feedback we had from customers was very positive. I am pleased that this service will now be available to everyone, significantly improving the way that people can claim benefits.

"I believe that this change will encourage people to get in touch with us to claim the benefits they are entitled to as well as receiving help in getting back into the labour market."

Lesley Strathie, Chief Executive, Jobcentre Plus said:

"This is one of a range of modernised services being introduced and continues our long-term strategy to improve our services. Our aim is to provide support for people in getting back to work, ensure customers receive the right benefits at the right time and provide a cost efficient service."

The new numbers are:

Telephone 0800 0 55 66 88

Textphone 0800 0 23 48 88 (i)

Welsh language 0800 0 12 18 88

Lines are open from 8am-6pm, Monday to Friday.

Charges may apply to calls from mobile phones, but the contact centre will call the customer back if requested.

Customers who want face to face help filling in a claims form call can still visit their local Jobcentre Plus office where this help will be provided.
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