Housing benefit appeals
Information about what to do if you think your benefit decision is wrong.
Housing Benefit Appeals and Revisions or
When you apply for housing benefit, we will give you a decision
in writing about your claim. If you disagree with it, you can
ask us to look at it again. There are different ways in which
you can do this. You can:
- Appeal against our decision (known as an
You must be the person affected by our
decision to ask us for any of these options.
Who is affected?
- The person making the claim (the
- Someone acting on behalf of the claimant who
is appointed by the Courts
- Someone who the Council agrees is appointed
to act on behalf of the claimant
- A landlord - but only in matters relating to
whom payment of Benefit is to be made
- An agent - but only in matters relating to
whom payment of Benefit is to be made
- Any person from whom, it is determined, an
overpayment is to be recovered
This means that only the claimant can ask us
to revise a decision concerning the calculation of a claimant's
entitlement; and that the landlord or agent can only ask us to
revise a decision about whether payment should be made to a
landlord and whether the decision to recover an overpayment from a
landlord or agent has been correctly made.
How do I request a Statement of Reason?
A person affected can ask us to provide a
written Statement of Reason. This should be requested
within 1 month of the date of the decision notice.
The Statement of Reasons does not affect your right of an
appeal. The statement will explain how we reached our decision.
We will aim to provide a statement within 14 days so far as
this is practicable.
The time taken for us to provide the statement
may extend the time limit for requesting a revision or seeking an
appeal to the Tribunal.
How do I request a revision or reconsideration?
A request for a revision means that we will
look again at the decision regarding a claim for benefit and we
will make sure that it has been done correctly. Requests for
revision are to be made either in writing or by completing a
Request form, and must be made within one month of the decision
What will the Benefit Section do?
The decision will be checked by a different officer to the one
who made the original decision, to see if it is correct.
After reconsidering our decision, we will write to the person
affected stating that the decision has been changed or that it will
stay the same. We may request further information from the
person affected before we make a final decision. The person must
provide the information within one month of the request. We
will aim to reply to all requests for a revision within 14 days so
far as this is practicable.
What can I do if I still do not agree with the decision?
A person affected by a decision may be able to
appeal to Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service, who are
independent of the Council and The Department for Work and Pensions
where a judge will look at your case and make a decision on
it. The request must be made in writing to us at the Benefit
Section, Northumberland County Council, Wansbeck Square, Ashington,
NE63 9XL and must be received by us within one month of the date on
the decision notification letter.
In exceptional circumstances the time limit
for requesting an appeal can be extended. The person affected
must write to us giving grounds for not appealing at the
appropriate time. A request for an extension of the time limit will
not be considered if it is made 13 months after the notice of
decision was issued.
What will Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service
Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunals Service
will write to the person to tell them of the date, time and place
of their hearing. They will also be asked if they want to attend or
whether they would prefer the Tribunal to consider their case
without them being present, this is called a 'paper hearing'.
In most cases the Tribunal will consist of
only one panel member who is a legally qualified person. If,
however, complicated financial matters are to be considered a
financially qualified person will also be present. The Clerk
to the Tribunal and the Council's representative may also be
If the Council or the person affected feels
that the decision of HMCTS is wrong in law they can seek leave to
appeal to the Upper Tribunal.
The amount of Benefit payable is a matter
between the Council and the claimant. Only the tenant can ask
the Council to review the amount of Benefit payable. If the Council
reduces a tenant's benefit to recover an overpayment in respect of
a previous address, the current landlord cannot appeal against the
decision to recover that overpayment.
Northumberland County Council
Telephone: 0845 600 6400
The council now offers nine local area code telephone numbers
for customers to use when calling the central contact centre.
For more details about the numbers, along with frequently asked
questions, please click here.
Fax: 01670 620098
If you would like any benefit document in a different format, or
if you need any help with language or translations please telephone
0845 600 6400 and we will do all we can to help.
You may also wish to use the facilities available on all of our
web pages including page translation, accessibility and text size
options. Please see the links at the top of each web