How to appeal a decision about your Housing Benefit claim
Updated: 20 May 2013
If you want to know more about a decision regarding your Housing Benefit, or if you think it is wrong,
- You can ask us to explain the decision
- You can dispute the decision
- You can appeal the decision
How do I get more information about the decision?
If you would like further information to help you decide what you want to do, you can ask for a ‘written statement of reasons’. This will provide you with a more detailed explanation of our decision.
Can I ask for the decision to be reviewed?
If you would like us to look at our decision again (this is commonly known as a dispute) you must let us know within one month of the date of the decision letter. If you initially requested a “written statement of reasons”, you must act within the time period specified in our reply.
When you ask us to look at our decision again, we will:
- where possible, arrange for a different member of staff to reconsider the decision
- check that the decision is correct
If we do not change the decision we will write to you and tell you, and advise you of your options.
If however we change the decision we will write to you and tell you. You would then be able to challenge the new decision if you are not happy with it.
We may be able to look at a decision again after a month if there are special reasons for delaying your request. Please give your reasons for the delay in your request.
Appealing against a decision
You can appeal a decision within one month of the date of your notification letter or the date of the new decision. You can still appeal even if you have already asked for an explanation, or if you want us to look at the decision again.
To appeal against a decision, you must write to us saying which decision you are appealing against and give your reasons for doing so. If you appeal outside the one month time limit you must say why your appeal is late.
What happens next?
The Appeals Service will deal with your appeal and arrange for a hearing by an independent tribunal. The tribunal is made up of people who are not from the Housing Executive. You can choose between an oral hearing and a paper determination.
You can attend an oral hearing and have the chance to speak. You can take someone with you to represent you and you can call witnesses to give evidence.
A paper determination is where the tribunal sits in private and considers the appeal using only the paper evidence presented.
You will be given a ‘summary decision letter’ explaining the tribunal’s decision as soon as possible after the appeal hearing. If you do not agree with the appeal tribunal’s decision you may be able to appeal to the Social Security Commissioner.