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Rollout of video relay service


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Update from DWP -

Video Relay Service (VRS) rollout

As of June 2020 the availability of Video Relay Service (VRS) is being further extended to customers claiming Jobseekers Allowance and Income Support, and to those wishing to contact Debt Management or the National Benefit Fraud Hotline.  Each service will be fully tested before it is made available for customers.

Over the coming months we will continue to extend VRS into all DWP services. VRS is already available for British Sign Language (BSL) users who claim DWP disability benefits, Universal Credit as well as Access to Work.

VRS enables BSL users to contact DWP via a BSL interpreter. The customer uses a video link accessed through their own computer, smartphone or tablet. The interpreter will then speak to a DWP agent relaying the conversation by phone. There is no need for anyone to be in the same location and the customer does not have to book the service in advance.

This means that the customer and DWP agent can have a telephone conversation in real time.

Video Relay Service (VRS) FAQs

How do I access this service?
You can access VRS via your smart phone, tablet or Computer.

Go to GOV.UK and access information for the benefit you wish to contact DWP about. An instruction video will tell you more about using VRS, this video is on Youtube channel dwpsign. A direct link to VRS on GOV.UK will connect you to a BSL interpreter.

You can also access VRS via the SignVideo website, and download the free app to your device.

What kind of smartphone or tablet do I need to access the service?
You need an Apple or Android phone or tablet. VRS is currently not available for Blackberry or Windows phones. Your phone or tablet has to be able to access the internet. You need a front facing camera. This is so you can see the interpreter on screen and they can see you.

What standard of connection do I need?
You need a reliable broadband connection if you are using a PC, Mac or laptop. It may be better to have a cable connection rather than using your Wi-Fi (but Wi-Fi should still work). If you are using a smartphone/tablet, then this should still work using 3G or 4G with a good signal.

When I’ve accessed the service, what happens next?
You will connect to an interpreter via video link. The interpreter will telephone the service you want to call. They will relay the conversation between you and the DWP agent.

Do I need to have the DWP telephone number for you to call?
No, SignVideo has the relevant contact details within its directory.

When is VRS available?
VRS is available during DWP operating hours, however, please check the website for any changes due to Covid-19