What if I think my Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support may be wrong?

If you think your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support may be wrong, you can apply for a reconsideration or appeal online.

Housing Benefit legislation is set by central Government and the council must follow this legislation when making a decision about your entitlement. You can ask for a reconsideration or make an appeal if you think we have made a mistake in applying the legislation.

The local Council Tax Support scheme was agreed by elected council members after public consultation. You cannot appeal against the scheme itself but you can ask for a reconsideration or make an appeal if you think we have made a mistake in applying the scheme rules.

If you would like to comment on the local Council Tax Support scheme, please write to your local MP or councillor.

To help you understand the reconsideration and appeals process you should read the information given below.

You should check your Council Tax bill and Housing Benefit notification letters carefully to make sure they are correct. If you think we have assessed your claim incorrectly you must inform us straight away.

You must also let us know if your circumstances have changed since the notification letter or bill was sent. Failure to report a change or dispute a decision may result in a loss of benefit or discount.

After checking your bill and notification letters, if you would like to have the calculation explained in more detail please contact us.

  • You should clearly state which decision you are requesting an explanation for.
  • You should quote your claim reference number and the date of the relevant notification letter.

After receiving the explanation, if you still think that the amount awarded is incorrect you can ask, in writing, for us to reconsider our decision. This is called a reconsideration. Please mark your request as a reconsideration and clearly state which decision you are disputing.

When we receive your reconsideration request we will check our decision and write to you within two months of receiving your request.

  • If we change our decision then we will change it back to the date of the original decision and you will receive a new bill or notification letters.
  • If we cannot change the decision we will send you a letter confirming our original decision and explain the reasons for that decision. The letter will also tell you your appeal rights.

If you are still unhappy about our decision after receiving the reconsideration you can appeal the decision.

You must appeal within one month of receiving your reconsideration decision.

Housing Benefit:

Housing Benefit appeals are managed by the council. You can make an appeal by completing our appeals form and sending it to the Benefits Section.

Council Tax Support:

Council Tax Support appeals are managed and heard by the Valuation Tribunal Service. The Valuation Tribunal require you to ask us for a reconsideration before they will accept an appeal. Details on how to appeal can be found at the Valuation Tribunal Service website.