What to do if you think the decision about your Housing Benefit is wrong
If you think the decision we have made on your Housing Benefit claim is wrong, you can contact us to:
- ask us to explain it
- ask us to look at the decision again
- appeal to an Independent Tribunal to look at the decision.
You can ask for an explanation over the telephone or in writing. However, if you want us to look at a Housing Benefit decision again or appeal the decision, you must do this in writing within one month of the date on the decision letter. You will need to tell us which decision you disagree with and the reason why. A different Officer will look at the decision to see if it is correct. If the decision can be changed, we will send you a letter explaining the new decision. If you do not agree with the new decision, you can ask us to look at it again.
If you have special reasons why you have not been able to dispute a Housing Benefit decision within one month, you need to tell us why. There is an absolute upper time limit of 13 months. Disputes made after this time will not be considered.
To make an appeal, you can fill out our Dispute form or write us a letter.
Who can dispute a decision?
- whoever made the claim (the claimant)
- someone who is appointed by the courts to act on behalf of the claimant
- someone who we agree can act on behalf of the claimant
- anyone we ask to pay back an overpayment of benefit
- a landlord – if they disagree with who benefit may be paid to
- an agent – if they disagree with who benefit may be paid to.
Some decisions do not carry a right of appeal. If you dispute one of these decisions, we will write and tell you that you do not have the right of appeal.
What happens after a dispute is made?
We will look at the decision again. We will contact you to ask for more information.
If we think the original decision is wrong, we will change it and write to let you know. If we decide in your favour, your appeal will stop.
If we are not able to change the original decision, we will write to you and explain the reason why. We will also tell you if you can appeal the decision.
If you have appealed a decision and we have been unable to change it, your case will be forwarded to an Independent Tribunal for them to make a decision on the case. Your appeal and our detailed response will be sent to the Tribunal for them to make a decision.
HM Courts & Tribunals Service make decisions on all Social Security Benefit appeals, including Housing Benefit. The Tribunal usually consists of one legally-qualified Judge. You will be sent a form asking if you want to attend. More information on these Tribunals can be found on the Justice website.
What to do if you think your Council Tax Support decision is wrong
For information about appealing a Council Tax Support decision, please view our Council Tax Support appeals page.