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If you have received a benefits notification letter that you think may be wrong you need to contact us straight away. There are time limits on how long you have to query a benefits decision.
You can ask us to explain to you why we made the decision. This can be done over the phone or in writing.
If you don't disagree with our decision then you can ask for a reconsideration. This means someone else will look at your claim for you. Please write to us within one month of your notification letter or your response from an explanation.
If you do not agree with the decision regarding your reconsideration, you have the right to appeal. There are separate processes for housing benefit and council tax support:
The claimant, landlord, landlord’s agent or an appointee can appeal. A claimant has the right to request a review of all the decisions made on the claim.
A landlord may only be able to appeal against decisions relating to how they are paid and how often. If we are pursuing a landlord for repayment of a benefits overpayment they may also appeal about this.
If you want to appeal against a decision made on your claim, you need to do this in writing. If you have followed the steps above then you have one calendar month from the date you receive your reconsideration letter to appeal. If you have not followed the steps above then you have one calendar month from the date you receive your notification letter about your benefit claim.
If you disagree with our decision but contact us after the one month timescale has expired we will write and ask you for your reasons for a late dispute. This timescale can be extended up to 13 months in exceptional circumstances.