If you want to know more about a decision or if you think it's wrong, get in touch with us; you must do this within one month of the date of your notification letter or we may not be able to consider any dispute.
- ask for an explanation
- ask us to look again at the decision
- appeal against the decision (this can only be done in writing)
Ask us for the reasons behind the decision
- We can explain the reasons to you over the phone or in person.
- Or you can ask for a written statement of reasons, but you must ask for this in writing.
- If you still disagree with the decision you can ask us to look at it again, or you can appeal against the decision.
Contact us as soon as possible within one month of the date on the decision letter.
Ask us to look at the decision again
Contact us to look at the decision again, and we'll check if the decision taken was correct.
A different member of staff will usually do this and if the decision is wrong, we'll change it (and write to you).
- If you want us to look at the decision again you must let us know within one month of the date of the original letter.
- If you've asked for a written statement of reasons, you'll have one month from the date of the decision letter, plus the time we took to send you the statement of reasons.
If the decision is being changed, but you don't agree with the new decision, you can ask us to look at it again.
If the decision can't be changed we'll tell you why. If you still disagree, you have one more month to appeal, from the date of the new decision.
Appeal against the decision
If you know the reasons behind the decision or you've asked us to review the decision and it hasn't changed, or you're still unhappy with the decision, you can appeal against it.
To appeal you'll need to complete an appeal form and return it to us. An independent tribunal (made up of people who aren't from this council) will decide on your appeal.
Appeals information and appeal form [PDF, 40.8 KB] [PDF, 41Kb] (this is a central government leaflet covering all types of benefit appeals)
You must make your appeal within one month of the decision letter. If you've asked us to look at the decision again, the one month will start from the date of the new letter we sent you confirming the decision.
The tribunal can't look at changes of circumstances that happened after we made the decision. If you have a change in circumstance, don't wait for the appeal hearing - tell us straight away.
If you ask us to look at the decision again more than one month after the date of the decision letter we may still be able to change the decision. Contact us as soon as possible.
- The Tribunals Service can only accept a late appeal if there are special circumstances that caused the delay e.g. a death, a serious illness, absence abroad or a postal strike.
- When you appeal, you should include an explanation of the delay on the form provided above.
- An appeal can't be accepted if you appeal 13 months or more after the date on the decision letter.
- Visit the HM Courts and Tribunals Service website for more information on what happens when you appeal.
Who can make an appeal?
Someone who's affected by the decision may appeal, including:
- the person making the claim
- someone who's appointed by the courts to act on behalf of the person making the claim
- someone who the council agrees is appointed to act on behalf of the person making the claim
- a landlord or agent - but only about who benefit may be paid to
- any person from whom an overpayment is to be recovered.
Help and advice
Advice centres, like the Citizens Advice Bureau and law centres, can represent you and help you understand the reasons for decisions about benefits. They can also help you to fill in forms or to write a letter.