Appeals and disputes

What if I disagree with a decision about my Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support?

If you are not happy with the decision that has been made you can ask us to look at the decision again. You should write to us stating why you do not agree with the decision that has been made. Your reasons for disagreeing with the decision could be that we have used incorrect information, or that we have not applied the rules correctly in your case. However, if you are not happy with the decision because you disagree with the rules we cannot change the decision.

Is there a time limit?

Yes there is a time limit for making an appeal if you disagree with the decision about Housing Benefit., you must write to us within one month of the date that we wrote to you to tell you the decision. You can ask us to look at the decision again (to reconsider it) or you can make an appeal. If you want to appeal you should put this clearly in your letter and your case will be passed to the Tribunal Service.

If you do not agree with the decision about your Council Tax Support, you can ask us to look at the decision again. If you ask us to look at the decision again we will check the decision and will either confirm that it is correct or we will make a new decision.

What happens next?

If you still disagree with a decision about your Council Tax Support you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal but you must make your appeal within 2 months of our letter to you confirming the first decision.

If you ask us to look at the decision again and we have not replied to you after 2 months you can appeal directly to the Valuation Tribunal. The Valuation Tribunal will not accept your appeal unless you have asked us to reconsider the decision first.

What happens if I disagree with the decisions made on my Housing Benefit claim and my Council Tax Support claim?

If you want us to reconsider the decisions for both Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support please make this clear in your letter to us. Once we have checked the decisions if you want to continue with an appeal, you will need to make separate appeals, an appeal to the Tribunal Service for your Housing Benefit, and an appeal to the Valuation Tribunal for your Council Tax Support.

Ask for an explanation

If you are not sure how we have calculated your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support you can ask us for an explanation – we can tell you what information we have used in your calculation how we have made our decision.

You can make an enquiry by emailing benefits@west-lindsey.gov.uk or you can write to us quoting your Claim Reference number to: The Benefits Department, West Lindsey District Council, Guildhall, Marshall’s Yard, Gainsborough DN21 2NA

When we explain our decision we can provide what is officially termed a ‘Statement of Reasons’ if you wish. A written statement of reasons will explain in detail how we have reached our decision.

Tribunals service

Appeals made in regard to Housing and or Council Tax Benefit are administered and heard by the HM Courts & Tribunals Service, an executive agency of the Ministry of Justice.

They arrange independent hearings for appeals on decisions made by the Department for Work and Pensions (including Jobcentre Plus, Child Support Agency and Disability and Carers Service), as well as other government departments (HM Revenue and Customs) and local authorities.

Appeals are determined by independent tribunal panels whose decisions cannot normally be changed other than by way of a further appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

Appeals are heard at tribunal venues, ours are normally heard at Lincoln but they can arrange for appeals to be heard at a venue convenient to you.

The appeals are processed at eight operational sites throughout Great Britain.

Benefits

West Lindsey District Council
Guildhall, Marshall’s Yard
Gainsborough
Lincolnshire
DN21 2NA

Email: benefits@west-lindsey.gov.uk