Rights of appeal against a housing benefit decision
Is the amount of housing benefit right?
Housing Benefit is there to help you pay your rent. We want to be sure that you are getting all the benefit you can. You may have extra information that we did not take into account when we worked out your benefit. We may have made a mistake. We want to know and make sure your benefit is correct.
How we work out housing benefit
The rules are complex. The rules entitle you to a detailed explanation of how we worked out your benefit. This is a 'written statement of reasons'. You must request this within one month of the date on the decision letter. Even if you do not qualify for any benefit, you can still ask for a detailed explanation.
If you are not happy with a housing benefit decision
- Do you disagree with the information we have used?
- Do you think that we were wrong to say that you did not qualify for benefit?
- Do you think that we should not have restricted your rent?
- Do you disagree with the amount of non-dependant deductions?
- Do you think that we should backdate your claim? That is, should we give you benefit from an earlier date?
- Do you believe that we should not ask you to pay back an overpayment of benefit? An overpayment is an amount you have received, but one which we now say you were not entitled to.
You should write and ask us to look again at our decision. You must give your reasons as fully as possible. You must write within one month of getting our decision, unless there are special circumstances, meaning you cannot contact us within one month. This may be, for example, if you have been in hospital. We will check the decision, and then write to you again.
Appealing against our housing benefit decision
You can appeal further if you think it is still wrong. You must do so within one month of our latest decision letter. We will send any further appeal to the Tribunals Service. This is an independent tribunal of people not from here. They will decide your appeal at a tribunal hearing.
Benefit is a legal right. If you think we have it wrong, do not be afraid to challenge our decision. The appeal process will not cost you anything.
Challenging a housing benefit decision
- You can ask for a written statement of how we made any benefit decision affecting you.
- If you are unhappy, you have the right to ask for us to look at it again.
- If you think it is wrong, you have the right to an independent tribunal.
- There are time limits, so please do not delay.
You can make an appeal
Contact the Benefits Team on the details below, to appeal against a Council Tax and Housing Benefit decision.
Independent advice on housing benefit
Citizens' Advice Carlisle and Eden offers money debt, budgeting and benefit advice.
Read 'Help with your rent - Housing Benefit' on the Citizens' Advice website for advice on Universal Credit and Housing Benefit.