Help someone with their claim for benefits: Get advice and information about someone’s claim

How you can get advice and information depends on the services requested. For:

Why can you use the alternative request service

You may find certain information about someone else’s claim for benefits, such as:

  • what stage a claim has reached
  • why and how a decision was made on a complaint
  • how the value of a claim was calculated
  • what actions will be taken in the future regarding a complaint
  • what are the next steps for the person with the complaint

You can also tell the helpline about a change in the person’s living situation, for example if they are going to hospital. DWP will review any changes before updating a claim.

Why you can’t use the service

You cannot obtain personal information about the person applying for benefits, such as:

  • address
  • Date of Birth
  • bank account and construction company details
  • national insurance number
  • phone number

You also cannot use the service to manage someone’s claim for benefits, such as appealing a decision on their behalf or terminating their claim.

Who can use the service

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

This includes if you call:

  • on behalf of a family member or friend
  • in the course of your work, for example if you are a social worker, nurse or doctor or if you work for a counseling or social law organization

How to use the service

Who you call depends on the benefit. For:

Say you are looking for an alternative investigation into someone else’s claim for benefits.

The appeals handler will verify that you have a real connection with the person applying for benefits. This may involve asking you questions about:

  • the personal data of this person
  • the details of that person’s claim for benefits
  • your phone number or email address, if you are calling for work or on behalf of an organization

They may also contact the person applying for benefits to verify that they are OK with you using the service.

If you are able to prove your genuine link

The call handler will be able to help you.

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

If you can’t prove your genuine link

You will not be able to use the service. The call handler can suggest other ways to help the person with their complaint.

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