If you live in Northern Ireland and are unhappy with the Universal Credit service provided, an expression of dissatisfaction can be made verbally or in writing (including via your journal) to the Universal Credit Customer Service Team. The communication does not have to contain the word 'complaint or dissatisfaction ' for it to be recognised as such but a clear explanation of your dissatisfaction should be provided.
Dissatisfactions will be will be reviewed by the Universal Credit Customer Service Team who will forward to the appropriate business area to take action. These dissatisfactions will have a three day turnaround for the business area to action. The appropriate business area will update your journal to confirm action taken to resolve your dissatisfaction.
Where the dissatisfaction cannot be resolved you will be asked if you wish to proceed to a Stage 1 complaint.
Stage 1 complaint
If you live in Northern Ireland and wish to make a complaint you can do this by writing to the Universal Credit Customer Service Team.
The Universal Credit Customer Service Team will acknowledge receipt of your complaint and work to resolve it where possible within 10 working days. If there is a reason that your complaint cannot be answered within the ten working days, we will write to you to outline the reason for the delay and provide you with the expected date of reply.
A response will be provided to you addressing all of the issues and giving advice on the next stage of the complaints process should you feel your complaint remains unresolved.
Stage 2 complaint
If you live in Northern Ireland and are not satisfied with the response at Stage One, you can ask for your complaint to be re-examined. To do this you should contact UC Customer Service Team. You will need to outline why you are dissatisfied with the initial response. The Director of Universal Credit will address your complaint and will aim to respond within ten working days. If for any reason there is a problem with collating the response, you will be notified of the delay and the reason for this and a new date of response will be provided.
If you have written to the Director and are still not satisfied, and you want an independent person to look into your complaint, you can phone or write to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO) or Independent Case Examiner (ICE).
Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman (NIPSO)
Even though it is not part of our complaints procedure, you can pass your complaint to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman when you have exhausted our internal complaints process. You can contact them in a number of ways -
By writing to:Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman
33 Wellington Place
Freepost: Freepost NIPSO
Telephone: 028 9023 3821
Textphone: 028 9089 7789
Independent Case Examiner (ICE)
The Independent Case Examiner is not part of the Department, and the service is free. For more information about the Independent Case Examiner you can visit their website. You can contact them in a number of ways.
By writing to:
Independent Case Examiner
PO BOX 209
Bootle L20 7WA
Telephone: 0800 414 8529
NGT text relay: 18001 then 0800 414 8529 (if you cannot hear or speak on the phone)
Contact from Representatives
Please note that if you would like a representative to act on your behalf in the complaints process you must provide explicit consent before information can be disclosed to a representative. You can provide explicit consent via your journal or by phoning the Universal Credit Service Centre Freephone 0800 012 1331 or Textphone 0800 121 1441 (for deaf or hard of hearing users and customers with speech difficulties).
If you choose to have an MP, MLA or their representatives engage with Universal Credit on your behalf explicit consent is not required.