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Appeal against the Housing Benefit decision

If you have got a letter telling you about a Housing Benefit (HB) decision or a written statement of reasons explaining the decision and :

  • the letter telling you about the decision tells you that you have the right to appeal against it; and
  • you think it is wrong or
  • we have explained our decision and you still think it is wrong;

you can appeal against the decision to an independent tribunal. More information is given in our benefit appeals leaflet.

You can also ask us for more information about the decision and ask us to look at the decision again before you appeal.

This section tells you how to do this for your HB claim. For appeals against Council Tax Support decisions made on or after 1st April 2013 please go to our Council Tax support appeals page.

On this page

Who can appeal against a decision

You can appeal if you have received a letter telling you about a decision on a HB or CTB claim and that letter tells you that you have the right of appeal. If you cannot appeal you can still ask us to look at the benefit decision again.

How to appeal

If you have asked us to look at the benefit decision again and we did not change the decision or you want to go straight to an independent tribunal, you can :

Advice on filling in the appeal form

  • Complete all relevant boxes on the form. You can get help with benefit appeals from an advice centre or a solicitor.
  • Write down the reasons for your appeal. This is important because the tribunal does not have to look at anything you do not mention.
  • Make sure that you sign the form.
  • Send it back to the office shown on your decision letter within one month of the date on the letter.

After you have sent in your appeal form

  • After you have appealed we will offer you an explanation of our decision if we have not already done this.
  • We will look at the decision again if we have not already done this.
  • If we agree that the original decision is wrong and the new decision is to your advantage, we will send you a new decision and your appeal will stop. If you do not agree with the new decision, you can appeal against it.
  • If we agree that the original decision is wrong but the new decision is not to your advantage, we will send you a new decision. Your appeal will continue against the new decision. You will have another month to comment on the new decision.
  • If we do not change the decision, we will send your appeal, and an explanation of the law and facts used to make the decision, to an independenttribunal. We will also include any other relevant papers.
  • A copy of the appeal papers will be sent to you and your representative if you have one. Read the appeal papers very carefully. If you do not understand something, ask us, an advice centre or solicitor to explain.
  • You will also receive a tribunal form. You must complete this form and send it to the First-tier Tribunal within 14 days of the date the form was sent to you. If you do not, your appeal will stop. The form also asks you questions about how you want your appeal to be looked at. You can choose between an oral hearing and a paper hearing. If you choose to go to an oral hearing you will be able to deal with any questions or issues that arise. People who go to their hearing usually do better than those who do not.

See also

Discretionary housing payment

Related websites

Tribunal Service

Contact us

Merton Benefits Service
PO Box 610
Merton Civic Centre
London Road

Telephone: 020 8274 4903
Fax: 020 8545 3960

Opening hours