How to appeal
When we make a decision, we send you a letter that tells you how your Housing Benefit was worked out. The letter will also tell you the start and end dates of your claim.
If you are the person who claimed Housing Benefit (or their appointee) and you think a decision we have made about your benefit is wrong you can:
- Ask us for an explanation of our decision and/or a written statement of the reasons for the decision, or
- Tell us you disagree with the decision, and why, and ask us to look at it again, or
- Appeal against the decision.
Generally, you must ask us to do this within 1 month of the date of the letter we send you about the decision unless you have a special reason for a late request, but there is a maximum appeal time limit of 13 months.
Any appeal will only be treated as made on the day we receive your letter/completed appeal form so please make sure that it reaches us within 1 calendar month of the date of our letter.
If you decide to make an appeal, the law requires that we have a document that you have signed telling us what you want to do. We cannot accept any request by e-mail.
You can download and complete the Housing Benefit Appeal form or write us a letter to tell us:
- which decision you disagree with
- the reasons why you disagree with it
Remember to sign the letter and then send it to us at the address below.
There are special rules if you are the landlord of a property as you can only ask us to re-examine or appeal against certain decisions.
- A decision about whether Housing Benefit is to be paid directly to you
- The amount and period of an overpayment we have decided to recover from you
- A decision about whether to recover an overpayment of Housing Benefit from you
When you write to us
Whenever you write to us about a decision, a senior benefits officer will look at your claim again.
If we decide the original decision was not correct, your claim will be amended and we will send you a new notification letter explaining how the new amount of benefit was calculated. You would then have the right to appeal against this new decision.
Appealing to an Independent Tribunal
If you are still not happy with the decision the next stage is to ask for an independent body called the Tribunals Service to look at the decision and confirm whether it is correct or incorrect.
Your request for an appeal must be made in writing to us.
This could be a letter from yourself, or someone like the Citizens Advice Bureau, on your behalf, but any appeal you make must be signed by you.
If, prior to your appeal, you have asked us to look again at our decision, you have one calendar month to make an appeal, from the date of our reconsideration letter to you, even if the decision has not changed.
If you have not asked us to look again at our decision but wish to appeal, you must make your appeal within a month of the date of the decision notification letter we have sent you.
The Tribunals Service may be able to consider an appeal made outside this time limit if there are special circumstances. They cannot consider an appeal if it is made more than 13 months from the date of the original decision notification letter. To find out more about this, visit the Tribunals Service website.
There are different rules and time limits for appealing against a decision on a claim for Council Tax Reduction.
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