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If you get a decision in writing from us about Housing Benefit and you think it is wrong, you can ask us for more information or to look at it again. If we do not change our decision, you may be able to appeal to an independent tribunal. The letter telling you about the decision will tell you if you can appeal.

Getting more information about the decision

If you want more information on your Housing Benefit decision you must contact us straight away. This is because if you want us to look at the decision again or if you want to appeal against it, you must do so within one month of the date on the decision letter. When you contact us you can:

  • ask us to explain the reasons for the decision; or
  • ask us for a written statement of reasons for the decision if we have not already sent you one. 

If you still disagree with the decision you can:

  • ask us to look at the decision again; or
  • appeal against the decision.

If you have asked us for a written statement of reasons, we will extend the one month you have asked us to look at the decision again or to appeal against it by the time we took to send you the statement of reasons.

Asking us to look at the decision again

If you want us to look at your Housing Benefit decision again you need to let us know in writing within one month of the date of the decision. If you ask for an explanation first, the one month is from the date on the decision letter. If you ask us for a written statement of reasons, you will have one month from the date on the decision letter plus the time we took to send you the statement of reasons.

If there are special circumstances which mean you cannot contact us within one month, we may still be able to change the decision. Tell us what the special circumstances are when you contact us. If you ask us to look at a decision again more than one month after the date on the decision letter and you do not have special circumstances, we may still be able to change the decision but this will usually only be from the date you wrote to us.

What happens next?

When you ask us to look at a decision again, we will check that the decision is correct. A different member of staff will usually do this and if they think the original decision is wrong, we will change it.

  • If we can change the decision

If you asked us to look at our decision again within one month, or had special circumstances which meant you could not, we will change the decision from the date of the original decision. If you do not agree with the new decision, you can ask us to look at it again.

If you asked us to look at our decision again after one month and did not have special circumstances, we will usually change the decision from the date you asked us. We will send you a letter telling you what the new decision is.

  • If we cannot change the decision

If we cannot change the decision, we will send you a letter telling you that we cannot change it. The letter will confirm the original decision. The letter will also tell you if you can appeal against the original decision. If you can appeal, the one-month time limit starts again from the date on the letter confirming the decision.

How to appeal

If you want to appeal against your Housing Benefit decision you must write to us within one month of the date on the decision letter.  An appeal tribunal will then look at your appeal and make a decision on your amount of benefit. Find out more about making an appeal.

Page last updated: 
26 February 2016
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