Benefits and help

Disagreeing with our decision

if you do not agree with our decision with your benefits find out what you can do.

If you disagree with your Universal Credit decision you need to contact the Department of Work and Pensions.

For every decision that we make on your claim for housing benefit we will send you a decision letter. The letter shows the information we have used to work out your benefit and you should check it carefully.

For every decision that we make about your application for council tax support you will receive a new council tax bill which will show how much support you will receive.

How to disagree with our decision

You can:

  • ask for an explanation of the decision

If you would like to know in more detail the reason why we have made our decision you can ask us for an explanation. Your request must be in writing and singed by you.

We will write to you within 14 days to explain our decision.

  • ask us to look again at the decision

If you think we have made a mistake or have made the wrong decision you can ask us to look at the decision again. Your request must be in writing and signed by you.

You only have one month from the date of the decision to ask us to look at your decision again. If you have special reasons why you cannot ask us within one month, you must contact us to explain why because we may still be able to look at our decision again.

  • appeal against the decision

You must write to us within one month of the date of the decision letter.

An appeal must be signed by you. You must say which decision you are appealing against, and the reasons why you are appealing.

If you appeal against the decision, an independent appeal tribunal will hear your appeal.

You can:

What happens next?

The decision will be checked by a different officer to the one that made the original decision, to see if it is correct.

If we can change our decision in your favour

  • we may change if from the date of the original decision
  • we will send you a letter explaining our new decision
  • you will have new appeal rights against this new decision
  • your appeal will end

If we cannot change our decision

  • we will send you a letter explaining why
  • your appeal will be passed to the independent appeals Tribunal Service
  • you will be contacted by the Tribunals Service who will tell you what will happen next

If we change the decision to your disadvantage

Sometimes when we look at the decision again we may find new information that means you are now entitled to less housing benefit than you were receiving before. If this happens:

  • we will send you a letter explaining our new decision
  • your appeal will be passed to the independent appeals Tribunal Service
  • you will be contacted by the Tribunal Service who will tell you what will happen next

The Tribunal Service will make a decision about your appeal at the tribunal hearing. The tribunal hearing is made up of people who are independent from us.

It is important that you give your reasons for appealing because the tribunal does not have to look at anything you do not mention in your letter or appeal form. The tribunal can only look at the evidence, the law, and the circumstances at the time the decision was made.

Remember, if the appeal tribunal finds you have been getting too much money, we will reduce your benefit.

Decisions you cannot appeal

If you think a decision is wrong you can always ask us to look at it again, but there are some decisions that you cannot ask a tribunal to look at. These are:

  • how you are paid
  • how often we pay you
  • our right to decide whether to ask you to pay back an amount you have been overpaid
  • how we take back an overpayment if we have the right to take it back
  • the level of rent we use to work out your benefit if you are a private tenant getting Local Housing Allowance
  • anything about a Discretionary Housing Payment

If you are over State Pension Credit age and getting Pension Credit, and you think we have used incorrect income and savings details to assess your housing benefit, you must appeal to the Pensions Service because we can only use the details provided by them.

How can I find out more?

For further information visit:

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