You usually have one calendar month to challenge a housing benefit decision. Later requests can sometimes be accepted.

You can ask us to review a decision about your housing benefit claim if we:

  • have not assessed your claim correctly
  • turned down your application or say you’re no longer entitled to housing benefit
  • say you must repay overpaid housing Benefit
  • refuse to pay housing benefit directly to your landlord to help you budget
  • will not backdate your housing benefit.

How to ask for a review

To appeal a housing benefit decision, you must put your appeal in writing, within one calendar month of the date on our decision letter, giving your reasons.

Include evidence if you have it. For example, copies of payslips if the council have wrong information about your wages.

Time limits for requesting a review

When a decision is made about your housing benefit claim, we will send you a letter explaining our decision.

If you want to request a review, you must write to the housing benefit department within 1 calendar month of the date on the decision letter.

If you would like the decision explained, please contact us.

Late request for a review (outside one month)

You can make a request for a revision after 1 month if you have a good reason, such as being in hospital.

The time limit for a late request is 13 months from the date of the original decision.

When making a late application, explain why you could not make your request sooner, and where necessary provide evidence.

No time limits

You can ask the housing benefit department to review a decision at any time if there has been an official error. For example, the council got the law wrong.

Reviewing the decision

If you ask us to look again at a decision, a different officer to the one who originally assessed your claim, will carry out a review.

If we need any further information, you’ll usually have one month to provide it.

Once the decision has been reviewed, a letter will be sent to you explaining:

  • if and how your entitlement has changed
  • whether you can appeal to a tribunal

Appeal to a housing benefit tribunal

If you remain dissatisfied with the decision, you can ask for an appeal at the first-tier tribunal. For example, you can do this:

  • if the council do not change the decision after you ask for a review
  • instead of asking the council to reconsider their decision

It can take between three and eight months in total for your appeal to be decided at a first-tier tribunal.

To submit an appeal, you will need to contact us in writing. Appeals must include the following information:

  • Must be signed by you
  • Your name and address
  • The name and address of your representative (if you have one)
  • An address where you want any documents sent or delivered to
  • Details of the decision that you are disputing.
  • Your reasons for disputing the decision
  • If your appeal is made more than one month after the decision that you are appealing against your appeal must include your reasons why the appeal is late.

This will be forwarded to the tribunal together with our response.

You will be asked whether you want to go to the hearing. If you do not go, the judge will look at the information you provide.

A decision will normally be made on the same day.

If you wish to discuss making an appeal, please contact the Benefits Team.

Disagreeing with a local Council Tax Support decision

The Local Council Tax Support Scheme replaced Council Tax Benefits from April 1, 2013. The new scheme has been agreed because the Government reduced the amount of money councils receive to help pay for benefits.

The new scheme requires anyone of working age who claims Council Tax Support to pay a minimum of 15% of their yearly council tax charge. Pensioners are protected from a reduction in the level of support they are awarded.

There is no right of appeal against having to pay this, but you can appeal if you think that we have made a mistake when calculating how much help you are entitled to.

If you disagree with our decision you must write to us with detailed reasons why you think it is wrong. Please make sure that you also sign your letter or we will not be able to process your claim. You should do this within 21 days from the date the decision was made.

Once we have checked your letter we will revisit your claim and write to you with a decision. If you still do not agree or have not heard from us within two months of your claim, you can make an appeal directly to the Valuation Office Tribunal.

Last updated: Wed 1st February, 2023 @ 16:13