Benefit appeals

When you make a claim for housing benefit or council tax support, we’ll write to you with a decision about your claim.  We’ll also write to you when your circumstances change while you are claiming, when your benefit entitlement ends or if your benefit is overpaid.

If you disagree with a decision we make about your benefit, you can:

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  • ask us to explain our decision
  • ask us to look again at the decision we have made
  • appeal against our decision

You can find out more in our appeals leaflet.  You can also get advice from the Citizens Advice Bureau.

You can ask us to explain our decision by contacting us within one month of the date on your decision letter.  You can ask us to talk you through the reasons for our decision, or to give you the reasons in writing, or both.

If you ask us to explain our decision, you can still ask for us to look at the decision again or make an appeal.

You can ask for us to look at our decision again whether or not you’ve also asked for an explanation.  You need to contact us within one month of the date on your decision letter.  If you also asked for an explanation, the time it took us to reply doesn’t count toward the one month time limit for asking us to look at your decision again.

A different assessor will look at your claim again and check whether our decision is correct. 

If we can change our decision, we’ll write and tell you about the new decision.  If you want to appeal against the new decision, you’ll have one month from the date of the letter.

If we don’t change our decision, we’ll write and tell you.  This letter will also tell you if you can appeal.  If you can appeal, you will have one month from the date of the letter to appeal.

You can appeal by writing a letter or by completing the dispute form that came with your decision letter.  Send it to the address on our letter within one month.  We’ll send your appeal to the Tribunal Service for housing benefit and the Valuation Tribunal for council tax support.

Your appeal should give all the reasons why you think the decision about your claim is wrong.  The Tribunal Service and Valuation Tribunal don’t have to look at anything you don’t mention in your appeal.  They can only look at the evidence, the law and your circumstances when the decision was made.

Another person can go to the tribunal hearing with you to help you present your case.