Benefits disputes and appeals

When we have assessed your entitlement to Housing Benefit we will write to you to explain how we have reached this decision. If your circumstances change and we reassess your benefit we will write to you again about this, even if your benefit does not change. Although we try to make our letters clear, you may not always understand how we have reached our decision or how this affects you.

If you are unsure about our decision you can ask for:

Step 1 - Ask for a written statement of reasons

You can ask for a statement giving the reasons why we have reached our decision. You can do this by contacting us within one month of the date of our decision letter.

Step 2 - A revision of our original decision

If you disagree with the decision that we have made you have the right to ask for your claim to be looked at again.

You can do this by contacting us within one month of the date of our decision letter giving reasons why you disagree and why you feel that our decision is wrong. If you have any information that you would like to add please remember to include this. You must remember to sign this request.

If you have asked for a written statement of the reasons for the decision we will add on the time it takes us to reply so that we do not cause you to run out of time to request a revision.

We will then check all the details used to make our decision. A different person to the one that made the original decision will carry out this check. If any of these details are incorrect your benefit will be revised and we will write to you. If we are unable to change our decision we will confirm this in writing.

Step 3 - An appeal

If we do not change our decision or you are still unhappy with the revised benefit you can request an appeal. If you request an appeal, an independent appeal tribunal administered by the Appeals service will look at your claim. 

Your appeal must be made within 28 days of the decision, in writing, advising the decision that you are appealing against and why you are appealing.  If you need help to do this you can contact us for advice.  We would recommend that you complete our form to help guide you through the process.  You must remember to sign your request.

Council Tax Reduction review

If you are unhappy with the decision we have made regarding your Council Tax Reduction you can ask for the decision to be reviewed, provided this is done within two months of the date of that decision.

The request for a review must state the reasons why you think the Council Tax Reduction decision is wrong. We must consider the request and reply with our decision in writing within 2 months.

If, after receiving a review decision from us, you remain dissatisfied then you can seek an independent ruling from the Local Taxation Chamber who will conduct a further review. You must do this within 42 days of receiving our review decision.

A further review by the Local Taxation Chamber can only be requested after the relevant local authority has carried out an internal review.

The only exception to this is if you do not receive a written response from us within two months of the original request. If this occurs you can request an independent ruling from the Local Taxation Chamber.