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When the benefits office sends you a letter about their decision, if you do not agree, you can ask them to explain or reconsider it.
If you're unhappy with a reconsidered decision you can appeal.
You can ask for an explanation or reconsideration of every decision, but some benefit decisions cannot be appealed.
For example, you can't appeal against decisions on:
The decision letter will make it clear if it can't be appealed.
You have one month:
A late appeal may be accepted if you have special circumstances that prevented you appealing in time. You cannot appeal if more than 13 months have passed.
Information on how to appeal is normally included in the decision letter.
In most cases, it involves:
You can pick up the leaflet at your local benefits office or download it, below, from the Department for Work and Pensions website.
But if you are appealing in these cases follow the procedures below:Child Maintenance
If you don't agree with a decision made by the Child Support Agency (CSA), you can contact the CSA centre that made the decision. (Their contact details will be on the letter explaining the decision.)
If you're not happy with the outcome, you can write to the CSA Central Appeals Unit.
Find out more about what to do if you don't agree with a decision made by the CSA using the following link.
These benefits are handled by your local council, so you'd normally contact your local council office to query the decision and follow their appeals procedure.
Follow the links below to your local authority website to find out more.
For queries about Disability Living Allowance or Attendance Allowance, call the Disability Living Allowance and Attendance Allowance Helpline, 08457 123 456, textphone 08457 224 433. Lines are open from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm, Monday to Friday.
If you're not satisfied with the results, you may be able to appeal by using the DWP leaflet 'If you think our decision is wrong'.
HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) makes decisions about tax credits.
You can download the appeal form online, below, or you can call the Tax credit helpline.
These benefits are also handled by HMRC, appeal forms are available online or by phoning the Child Benefit helpline.
The First-tier tribunal (Social Security and Child Support) can explain the procedure and help you through the appeal process.
You can also order information leaflets using the Customer Leaflet Hotline on 08700 852 611, typetalk 18001 08700 852 611. Calls are charged at local rate.
Appeals are heard by a tribunal; a panel of up to three members, one of whom is legally qualified.
There are two kinds of tribunal hearing:
Some organisations offer help and advice (some for free) with your appeal, including:
You may be able to claim some expenses for travelling to a tribunal. You can't claim for legal expenses and solicitors' fees - even if you win.
If you don't agree with the tribunal's decision, you can only challenge it if:
But if you think the tribunal made a mistake in how they applied the law, you can ask for permission to appeal to an Upper Tribunal.
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