Disagree with a benefits decision
You can ask us to reconsider our Housing Benefit or council tax reduction (CTR) decision if you're unhappy with it. You also have the right to make a formal appeal.
Not all decisions carry appeal rights. Contact the benefit appeals team for more information.
If you don’t understand how we have come to our decision you can ask for statement of reasons. This statement will be unique to you. The team member who handled your application will explain what everything in your benefits letter means. They will tell you how they made the calculations and what evidence they used to make the decision (for example, your wage slips). They will check that the decision is right.
If you understand the letter but you think we’ve got the decision wrong, you can ask us to reconsider your claim.
Your application will go back to the original team member and their team leader. They will go through the application and evidence. You will get the chance to tell us about any extra information that you think might make a difference. We will send you a letter to tell you if we uphold the original decision or if we’ve made a new decision.
A changed decision comes with new rights. If you disagree with the new decision you can ask for a statement of reasons, a new reconsideration or appeal.
Contact the benefit appeals team by email or post to ask for a statement of reasons and reconsideration.
If we have reconsidered our Housing Benefit decision and you still think it is wrong, you can appeal. You will need to write to us to make your appeal within one month of the date on the council's decision letter. You must sign your appeal letter. If we do not change our decision, we will forward your appeal to HM Courts and Tribunals Service.
You can choose to appeal without asking for a reconsideration or statement of reasons. Once you start an appeal, it will go to a tribunal judge at HM Courts and Tribunals Service unless we change our decision or you withdraw in writing.
An independent tribunal judge will look at all the evidence and make a final decision. This process can take between a couple of months and two years, depending on how complex it is.
There is an absolute time limit of 13 months to appeal, and you will need to include reasons why you did not appeal within one month.
If we have reconsidered our CTR decision and you still think it is wrong, you can ask for an independent valuation tribunal.
You will need to apply directly to the Valuation Tribunal Service (VTS) within two months of the date on the council’s decision letter.
You can apply online, or ask the VTS to send you a form:
Valuation Tribunal Service, 2nd Floor, 120 Leman Street, London E1 8EU
Phone: 0303 445 8100