Think your housing benefit is wrong

When we have calculated your housing benefit we will send you a letter to tell you how much benefit you will get and how we will pay it. This is called a benefit notification.

You should check your notification carefully to make sure the details we have used to work out your benefit entitlement are correct.

If you think the decision we have made about your benefit is wrong, or you don’t understand it, you can take the following actions:

You can:

Ask us to explain our decision

Contact us straight away. You will find our contact details on your benefit notification letter.

You can ask us to:

  • give you a verbal explanation or
  • write to you with a ‘statement of reasons’.

Verbal explanation

If we give you a verbal explanation, you will have one month to appeal against our decision if you disagree with it. The one month time limit starts from the date of your benefit notification letter.

Statement of reasons

A statement of reasons is a more detailed explanation of your benefit decision. If you ask for a statement of reasons we aim to write to you within 14 days. Your time limit to appeal will change.

  • If we send you a statement of reasons within one month from the date of your benefit notification letter, we will add 14 days onto the appeal time limit. This means you will get a total of six weeks from the date of your original benefit notification to appeal.
  • If it takes longer than one month for us to respond from the date of your benefit notification letter, we will give you 14 days from the date of the statement of reasons to appeal.

You do not have to ask us to explain more about our decision before you ask us to look at our decision again, or appeal against it.

Ask us to look at our decision again

You must write to us within one month of the date on your benefit notification letter. Our address is on the front of your original letter. If there are special reasons why you did not ask us to review our decision within this limit, we may be able to accept a late request.

You should include copies of any evidence that supports your case. Our address is on the front of your original letter.

Someone who was not involved in making the original decision will look at the decision again and write to tell you the outcome.

If we can change our decision:

If our original decision is wrong, we’ll change if from the date the original decision was made.

If you think our new decision is wrong, you can ask us to look at it again or appeal against it.

If we think our decision is right:

We will confirm we think our decision was right and also tell you about your right of appeal if you still think it is wrong.

Appeal to an independent tribunal

The tribunal can only look at the evidence, the law and the circumstances at the time we made the decision you are appealing against.

If you make an appeal we will look at our decision again and offer you an explanation of our decision, if we have not already done this. If we agree our original decision was wrong, we will change it and tell you our new decision.

  • If this new decision goes in your favour, your appeal will stop.
  • If this new decision is not in your favour, your appeal will continue against our new decision.

Making an appeal

You must appeal in writing, you can use the following form.

Appeal your housing benefit decision

Fill in and download this simple form.

Paperclip To complete this form you will need the date on the letter about the decision you want to appeal against.

Download form

About your appeal

You must make your appeal within one month of the date of your original benefit notification, or within your extended time limit if you have asked for a statement of reasons. If you are appealing more than one month after the decision was made, you must say why your appeal is delayed.

Say exactly why you think the decision is wrong, for example:

  • "I moved into the property on 1st June, not 1st July."
  • "You have used the wrong wages to work out my benefit. I received £250 only during the Christmas week."

If you are appealing against more than one decision, you must say why you do not agree with each one.

Help to make an appeal

Better off Kirklees

Solicitors

You may be able to get advice from a solicitor under the ‘legal-help scheme’. You can find out about this from a solicitor, or online at Citizens advice - help with legal costs - legal aid .

Where to send the form

  • Kirklees Council, Benefit Appeals Section, Civic Centre 1, Huddersfield, HD1 2NF
  • or hand it in at any Customer Service Centre or Library and Information Centre.