Right of Appeal

You have one calendar month (the dispute period) to dispute a decision (ie one calendar month starting with the day following the date of notification of the decision). An extension to the dispute period can be given where special circumstances apply but must be requested in writing stating the reasons for delay. NO request is considered at all after 13 months have elapsed.

How to dispute a decision

You have a right to have the decision reconsidered. You must write to the Housing Benefits Manager, Benefits Office, Council Offices, Knowle Green, Staines-upon-Thames TW18 1XB asking for the decision to be reconsidered. You must do this within one calendar month from the date of the decision which you want reconsidered. You must put as much information in your letter as you can to support your request for the case to be reconsidered and the decision revised.

The Housing Benefits Manager will reconsider the original decision. If following the reconsideration of the original decision it is revised (changed) then you will be notified of this change and you will then have a further month to ask for this to be reviewed if you disagree.

If the original decision is not revised (changed) then you have a further calendar month from the date of the Housing Benefits Manager's decision to APPEAL.

If you are still unhappy

You may APPEAL against the reconsideration. This must be in writing. You must give the reasons why you think we should change or revise our decision. You must appeal within one calendar month following the notice by the Housing Benefit Manager (see 2 above). If you lodge an appeal outside of the calendar month allowed you will need to state in writing the reason for the delay in order to see if a late appeal can be accepted. Special circumstances have to be shown as to why there has been a delay in appealing. In any case a late appeal can only be accepted within a 13 month period.

The further reconsideration will be dealt with by the Joint Group Head Community Wellbeing. If the decision is revised to the appellant's advantage the appeal lapses ie a fresh appeal would need to be lodged if the appellant still disagrees with the decision.

If the decision is revised but not to the appellant's advantage the appeal continues but against the revised decision and a further calendar month is given for the appellant to make representations against the revised decision.

If there has been no change in the decision you will receive a notice confirming this together with a questionnaire. This notice confirms whether you want to withdraw the Appeal or wish it to continue to the Appeals Tribunal. You must return the questionnaire to the Joint Group Head Community Wellbeing.

If you wish the appeal to proceed the Authority will prepare a submission to the Appeals tribunal and send a copy of the submission to the appellant. With this documentation will be another form which you must send to the Appeals Service within 14 days.

The Appeals Service will then contact you with a date for the hearing.

Person affected

A person affected means any of the following where their rights, duties or obligations are affected by a decision:

  • the claimant;
  • where a claimant, or would-be claimant, is unable to act on his or her own behalf:

    - a receiver appointed by the Court of Protection;
    - an attorney with a general power or a power to claim or, as the case may be, receive benefit appointed under the Powers of Attorney Act 1971 or the Enduring Powers of Attorney Act 1985;
    - a person appointed by the Secretary of State to act on behalf of someone who is unable to act on his or her own behalf;
  • the Landlord, but only in relation to a determination (not) to make direct payments (where the payment is made to an agent acting for the Landlord the agent is the person affected);
  • anyone - including the Landlord - from whom the Council has determined that an overpayment is recoverable.

Disputing a decision?

Decision Notice sent to youYou have one calendar month to ask (in writing) for that decision to be reconsidered this is called the 'dispute period'
You request the decision to be reconsidered by the Housing Benefits Manager.This decision will be sent to you within one calendar month
Do you still disagree with our decision?You have one calendar month to lodge an appeal with us in writing. This is known as the Appeal Period. (If we receive your appeal after one calendar month this can only be accepted if the Appeals Service allows an extension to the time period.)
Appeal to the Joint Group Head Community Wellbeing for the decision to be reconsideredYou will be notified within one calendar month of that decision.
If the decision has not been changed to your advantage you must then consider if you want to proceed with an appeal to the Appeal TribunalYou must notify the Joint Group Head Community Wellbeing if you wish to continue with your appeal to the Tribunal.
If you wish to continue with the appeal this will be sent to the Appeal ServiceWe will notify you when this is sent to the tribunal and give you a copy of our submission. We will also send you a further form which you must send to the Appeals Service within 14 days.
The Appeals Service will set a date for the hearing