The Government have changed how benefit appeals are treated and made.
What are the new benefit appeal rules?
If you are unhappy with a decision about your Child Benefit, Tax Credits or child maintenance benefits you can ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to reconsider their decision (or “mandatory reconsideration”).
If you are unhappy with the “mandatory reconsideration” decision, you can then appeal directly to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS) within one month of the decision. This is called a “direct lodgement”.
If you are unhappy with a DWP benefit decision, you can then appeal to the independent courts and tribunal Service.
Please note the existing appeal and dispute rules still apply to Housing Benefit.
For more information on how to appeal please visit www.gov.uk
The Appeal Process
1 You receive a written decision about your benefits from the DWP or HMRC.
2 If you are unhappy with this decision you can ask for a ‘mandatory reconsideration’.
3 The DWP looks at their decision again.
4 The DWP will telephone your to explain and discuss their decision.
5 You may submit further evidence now or later (the sooner the better).
6 You will receive a detailed mandatory reconsideration notice letter, including how to appeal.
7 If you are unhappy with this decision, you have one month to send in the form ‘SSCS1’ directly to the court and tribunal service. You must also enclose the DWP mandatory reconsideration letter with your form.
You can get the form ‘SSCS1’ form from the DWP, an advice agency or on Justice.gov.uk
9 If the appeal contains further evidence the DWP will be asked to reconsider its decision.
10 The tribunal service will write to you and you must reply.
11 You can to attend a hearing if there one is needed. You will be told of the date.
If your mandatory reconsideration or appeal is made outside of the allowed time, it may be accepted if there are reasonable circumstances. The DWP can also consider what’s called an ‘any time revision’ request if certain grounds are shown. Seek advice if necessary.
Where can I get advice on making an appeal?
It can be useful to speak with someone about the benefits you may be entitled to and how they may impact upon your other benefits. A local independent advice service can help guide you through the process such as;
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