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Appeals - Benefits

Who may appeal?

The only people who have a right to dispute or appeal about a Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support decision are called 'persons affected'.

This means that not everyone affected by a decision has the right to appeal against it. This is because the term 'persons affected' is defined in the Benefit Regulations and only the following people may appeal:

  • the claimant
  • a person appointed by the Council to act for the claimant
  • in the case of a person who is unable to act for themselves, a receiver or someone with Power of Attorney
  • the landlord, where payment is made to them, but only against a decision of whether or not to pay them
  • a person from whom the Council decides that an overpayment is recoverable (landlords may appeal on this issue but their rights are very limited)

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What is the appeal procedure?

If a 'person affected' by a decision wants to dispute or appeal against it they must write to the Revenues & Benefits Service within one month of the date of the notification of that decision.

In the first instance the 'person affected' may ask us:

If the 'person affected' asks for an explanation about the way that their benefit entitlement has been calculated and they are not satisfied with the explanation they have the right to ask us to look at the decision again. This request must be in writing and made within one month of the date of the explanation.

We will notify the 'person affected' what the outcome is. What happens next depends on our decision:

  • If the decision is changed, new rights of appeal are issued
  • If the decision remains unchanged, the 'person affected' has the right to appeal to an Appeal Tribunal

The Appeal Tribunal that considers Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support appeals is an independent body responsible for hearing appeals about Social Security benefit decisions.

More information about this can be obtained by contacting the Revenues & Benefit Service.

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