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Housing Benefit disputes

If there is anything you do not understand about your Housing Benefit decision you can ask the council to provide you with a written statement. You can request a further explanation by sending us an email, identifying the decision and the reason for the request. This request must be received by the Benefits Service within one month of the date of the decision for which you are requesting an explanation.

If you think there has been a mistake or the council's decision is wrong, then you can ask for the Housing Benefit decision to be reconsidered. This request must be received by the Benefits Service within one month of the date of the decision. You can request a further explanation by sending your Benefits Service an email identifying the decision and the reason why you disagree with the decision.

We will look again at the decision and consider your views, look at your representations and decide if the decision is correct. We will advise you of the outcome by letter. This letter is called a decision notice. Please read the notification very carefully as it will explain the decision.

If you still don’t agree with the Housing Benefit decision, you have the right to appeal to an independent organisation called the Tribunals Service. Your appeal must be made within one month of the date of the decision notice.

Before appealing you may wish to seek further independent advice from, for example, the Citizens Advice Bureau. If this takes longer than one month, then the appeal period may be extended.

If you wish to appeal but cannot do so within the month, tell the council straight away and ask for the appeal period to be extended.

Your appeal must be in writing and signed. You must also state why you think the decision is wrong. You must state the grounds for your appeal.

The council will prepare paperwork explaining the decision, which is sent to the Tribunals Service together with your letter of appeal. A copy of all this paperwork will be sent to you.

You can ask to put your case orally by attending a hearing, or you can ask for a decision based on the written representations. If you ask for an oral hearing you can claim reasonable travelling expenses for yourself and any representative, and in some circumstances claim for loss of earnings and subsistence.

There are some decisions that the law says you cannot appeal against. If your appeal cannot continue for any reason the Tribunals Service will write to you. The council will not refuse an appeal.

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