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Appeals: Council Tax Benefits

What if I am not happy with a decision?

You can query our decision and request further information. We will give you an explanation, sometimes over the phone. If you are still not happy you can make an appeal or request a revision of our decision.

Appeals

An appeal against help with Council Tax up to and including 31 March 2013 will follow Council Tax Benefit rules. The rules are different to appeal a Council Tax Reduction scheme decision. If you are unsure whether you are appealing a Council Tax Reduction or Council Tax Benefit decision, contact the Benefits Team.

Decisions that can be appealed:

  • the amount of benefit payable
  • the calculation of a claimant’s income
  • the calculation of an overpayment

Some decisions, mainly administrative decisions, do not carry a right of appeal. You will be told if the matter you are disputing does not carry the right of appeal.

A request for a revision means we will look again at the decision, we will make sure that it has been done correctly.

An appeal means that a Tribunal, independent of the council, will consider our decision.

How do I ask for a revision?

You must write to us within one calendar month of the date on the notification letter.

In exceptional circumstances a tribunal may extend the time limit for appealing. You must write to us giving reasons for not requesting a revision within the time limit. A tribunal cannot consider requests made after 13 months of the first decision notice.

Outcome of the request

After looking at the decision we will write to you stating if the decision has been changed or if it will stay the same. We may request further information before we make a final decision.

How do I ask the appeal tribunal to look at the decision?

The request must be in writing and must be received by us within one month of the date on the decision notification letter.

If you previously requested us to revise a decision and have had a reply from us, you have one month from the date of our reply to ask for the case to be considered by the Appeals Tribunal.

Will I have to attend the Tribunal?

Tribunals are held locally. The Tribunal Service will write to you with the date, time and place of the hearing. You will also be asked if you would like to attend or if you prefer for the Tribunal to consider the case without you. This is called a paper hearing.

What if I am not happy with the Tribunal's decision?

If you feel or we feel the decision of the appeal is wrong, a request for an appeal to go to the Upper Tier Tribunal can be made.

Further Information

Advice centres like the Citizens Advice Bureau and law centres can help you understand the reasons for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit decisions.

Trade unions may also offer free advice to their members.

If you have any questions about appeals contact the Benefit Team.

Solicitors and Legal Advice

You may be able to get advice from a solicitor under the Legal Advice and Assistance scheme. You can find out about this from a solicitor. But if you decide to use a solicitor, the scheme does not cover the cost of a solicitor to help you at a hearing.

For solicitors and advice centres contact:

The Legal Aid Board
Franchise Development Group 85
Grays Inn Road
London
WC1X 8AA
Freephone 0500 282 3000