What if I disagree with a decision on my Housing Benefit?
If you disagree with a decision on your Housing Benefit, you can ask for it to be explained or looked at again, or appeal to an independent tribunal.
The rules are different if you need to dispute a Council Tax Support decision, but they do apply to any decision made about the old Council Tax Benefit scheme which ended in 2013.
Decisions you can't appeal against
You can ask us to look again at any decision you think is wrong. But there are some decisions you can't dispute or appeal against, for example:
- Any figure laid down in law, such as the capital limit
- The level of Local Housing Allowance or the Broad Rental Market Area you are in
- How often we pay you and by what method
- How we recover an amount we overpaid you
- If you think our decision about a Discretionary Housing Payment is wrong
- A decision to apply the benefit cap, made by the Department for Work and Pensions.
What should I do if I want you to look at your decision again?
You can ask us to give you a statement in writing to explain how we made our decision. This doesn't affect your right to appeal. The time we take to provide the statement will mean you have more time to ask us to look at our decision again or appeal to the Tribunals Service.
You must write to us or fill in a dispute form within one month of the date on the decision letter.
If there are special circumstances which mean you can't write to us within one month, you must contact us to explain why because we may still be able to look at our decision again. But if we don't receive your request within 13 months of the decision letter, the law says that we can't look at the decision again.
What happens when we look at our decision again?
The decision will be checked to see if it is correct.
If we can change our decision:
- We may change it from the date of our original decision, and
- We'll send you a letter explaining our new decision.
If we can't change our decision:
- We'll send you a letter explaining why; and
- You'll have one more month to appeal to the Tribunals Service.
I want to appeal against your decision. What should I do?
You must appeal by writing a letter or filling in an appeal form.
Appeal form (PDF Document, 0.15 Mb)
The Tribunals Service will make a decision about your appeal at a hearing. The tribunal is made up of people who are independent from us.
It is important that you give your reasons for appealing because the tribunal doesn't have to look at anything you don't mention in your letter or appeal form. They can only look at the evidence, the law, and the circumstances at the time the original decision was made.
Remember, if the appeal tribunal finds you've been getting too much money, we'll reduce your benefit and you may have to repay any overpaid benefit.
If you would like independent advice, you can get help from your local Citizens Advice Bureau or a solicitor. You can find phone numbers and other local advice agencies on-line, or visit our useful websites and other agencies page.
If you would like any more information, please contact us.
Last updated: Mon 26 February, 2024 @ 14:44