Extra help and appeals

Housing Benefit appeals

Whenever we make a new decision about your Housing Benefit, we will write to you. If you disagree with the decision, you can ask us to explain how we made it, ask us to reconsider, or appeal.

You can only do this if you are:

  • the person making the benefit claim
  • someone acting on behalf of a person making a benefit claim (an appointee)
  • the landlord or agent of someone making a benefit claim
  • someone we have asked to pay back an overpayment

Landlords and agents can only appeal if they disagree with a decision not to pay Housing Benefit to them or a decision to recover an overpayment from them. They cannot appeal against how much benefit we award.

How to appeal

If you disagree with our decision, you need to tell us in writing within a month of the date on our decision letter. Please make sure you include:

  • the decision that you disagree with
  • why you think that our decision is wrong

If you want us to explain how we made our decision, you can ask for a statement of reasons. You can still decide that you disagree with our decision after we have explained it. We will extend the time you have to disagree with our decision by the time it takes us to provide you with a statement of reasons.

If you write to us more than a month after our decision, you should tell us why your letter is late. We may decide to allow your appeal. We can only extend the time for you to appeal by up to 12 months.

How the appeals process works

When we receive a letter disagreeing with a Housing Benefit or Council Tax benefit decision, the claim will be checked by someone who was not involved in making the original decision. If they agree that we should change our decision, they will:

  • change it from the date of our original decision
  • write to you to explain our new decision

If we do not change our decision, or change it to your disadvantage, we will write to you. If you have already stated that you want to appeal against our decision, we will send your appeal to the Tribunals Service. Otherwise, you will have 1 month to write to us again and appeal the decision.

The Tribunals Service is independent and is not part of Central Bedfordshire Council. They will decide whether our decision was correct or not. You can attend the hearing, but you do not have to. They will write to you, and to us, when they have made their decision.

If you would like to discuss our decision, you can contact us by phone, email, or by visiting one of our Customer Service Centres.

If you have decided to appeal to the Tribunals Service, there is more information about what they will do on the Tribunals Service (Appeals) (link opens in new window) website.

For independent help or advice about your appeal, you may wish to contact the Citizens Advice Bureau (link opens in new window).

Contact us

Telephone: 0300 300 8306
Email: benefits@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk

Please quote your benefit claim reference in all correspondence – your claim reference is either an 8 digit number starting with 900, or a 5 digit number. You can find it on any letter we’ve sent about your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.