If you want to know more about a decision regarding your benefit entitlement, or you think the decision we have made about your benefits is wrong, you can ask us to look at the decision again.
You should write to the Benefits Team within one month of the date of your notification decision letter stating the reasons you disagree with our decision.
If there is anything you are unclear about you can challenge the decision in a number of ways:
What can I ask for?
- An explanation of the decision - verbally or in writing
- To look at the decision again - known as a reconsideration
- Appeal against the decision to an independent tribunal administered by the Appeals Service
You must give the reasons as to why you think the decision is wrong – it is not enough to simply say that you do not agree with it!
Remember that you should contact us within one month of the date of your notification letter or we may not be able to consider any dispute. An appeal may be considered outside this time limit if there are special circumstances but there is an absolute limit of 13 months from the date of the original decision.
How to appeal against a decision on your benefits
- Write to us within one month of getting the decision/notification letter we sent to you
- Send your appeal letter to the address below
- Make sure your letter states why you think the decision on your claim is wrong
What happens if I appeal?
Another officer will look at the decision and if it can be changed, we will send you a new decision. If we cannot change the decision, we will write to you and tell you why. If you still disagree, you have one more month from the date of the new decision to appeal.
Housing Benefit - Appeals Service
If you wish to formally appeal against the decision, your case will be passed to the Appeals Service. They will arrange an independent tribunal to review the decision. The Appeals Service try to arrange a hearing within 14 weeks of receiving all the information. Tribunals can sometimes be held sooner if there is an urgent reason, for example, there is a genuine eviction pending.
To ensure that the tribunal consider all the facts, you need to write down all the reasons for appealing against the decision.
You will be asked if you want a paper hearing or an oral hearing where you will be invited to attend the tribunal to support your case. We may send one of our senior officers to represent the Council.
After hearing the evidence, the tribunal will make a decision regarding the decision that is under dispute and you will receive the decision from them in writing.
If the tribunal decides in your favour we will change our decision as soon as possible and write to you to let you know the outcome.
If you do not agree with the tribunal’s decision, you may be able to appeal to the Social Security Commissioners, if you believe that the tribunal has not applied the law correctly to your case.
Council Tax support - Valuation Tribunal
If you wish to formally appeal against the decision, your case will be passed to the Valuation Tribunal. They will arrange an independent tribunal to review the decision.