How to appeal a benefits decision that you are unhappy with

There are various different courses of action that must be taken if you are unhappy with a decision relating to benefits and it is important you follow the correct process for the type of benefit when challenging a decision which you disagree with.

If you disagree with a decision which is dated on or after the 28 October 2013 then for almost all benefits you will have to ask the DWP to look at the decision again before you can appeal.

This is known as 'mandatory reconsideration' and you will have one month from receiving your decision from the DWP to request this reconsideration. You will need to put the request in writing and must provide reasons why you are asking for the reconsideration.

You cannot appeal a DWP decision until you have asked for a mandatory reconsideration and have received a reply to this request in the form of a Mandatory Consideration Notice.

Mandatory reconsideration applies to almost all benefits, although there are a few exceptions. The DWP decision letter you receive will inform you whether mandatory reconsideration applies.

Generally if you are asking for reconsideration or appealing a claim that has been refused then you will not be paid any benefit until the outcome has been decided. If you were awarded a DWP benefit at a reduced rate and are asking for a mandatory reconsideration because you think you should get a higher rate the benefit will continue to be paid at the reduced rate until the outcome has been decided.

Following the request for a mandatory reconsideration you will be sent out a Mandatory Reconsideration Notice. If you are still unhappy following the mandatory reconsideration decision you can make an appeal, which must be lodged within one month, directly to HM Courts and Tribunals Service. You must include a copy of your Mandatory Reconsideration Notice when making an appeal. You can ask the welfare rights team to assist you with this.

Please note that the Scottish Welfare Fund is administered by North Lanarkshire Council and not DWP, so has a different process known as 'review'. See the  page for more information.


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