How to appeal a benefits decision

If you’re unhappy with a decision about your benefits or tax credits by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or HMRC, it’s important to follow the right process. Here’s a summary of what you need to do and when.

Ask for a mandatory reconsideration

arrow icon

If you disagree with a benefits decision by the DWP or HMRC, you can ask for it to be looked at again.

This is called a mandatory reconsideration. It means another person will look at the decision and see if it can be changed.

You must go through this stage before you can appeal.

Usually, you have to ask for the mandatory reconsideration within one month of the date on your decision letter. Or the message in your online account if you’re claiming Universal Credit.

If you miss the deadline, the department making the decision doesn’t have to accept your request unless you had a very good reason. For example, you were in hospital, or a close relative died.

arrow icon

How to ask DWP for a mandatory reconsideration

You can ask the DWP for a mandatory reconsideration by:

  • phone, using the number on the decision letter
  • writing a letter
  • completing online form CRMR1
  • writing a message in your Universal Credit online account.

Explain why you think their decision is wrong. And send copies of any more evidence you’ve got if you think it will help your case.

arrow icon

How to ask HMRC for a mandatory reconsideration

You ask HMRC for a mandatory reconsideration by:

  • phone, using the number on the decision letter
  • writing a letter
  • completing form CH24A – for a Child Benefit or Guardian’s Allowance decision
  • completing form WTC/AP (or using the online service) – for a tax credits decision.
arrow icon

When the decision has been reconsidered

When the DWP or HMRC has looked at your decision again, they’ll send you two copies of a document called a mandatory reconsideration notice. This will let you know the result of the reconsideration.

arrow icon

How to appeal

You can only appeal against a benefits decision when you’ve had a mandatory reconsideration notice.

You must appeal within one month of the date on your mandatory reconsideration notice.

Appealing against a DWP decision

To appeal, you need to send the following to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (the address is on the form):

  • a copy of the mandatory reconsideration notice
  • form SSCS5 – download it from the GOV.UK website
arrow icon

Get expert help and advice

If you’re going ahead with an appeal, it’s a good idea to get some expert help, for example, from Citizens Advice or your local Law Centre.

How to challenge a decision by your local authority

Do you want to challenge a decision by your council about your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction? Then you need to contact your council to question its decision and follow its appeals procedure.

arrow icon
arrow icon
Was this information useful?
Thank you for your feedback.
We’re always trying to improve our website and services, and your feedback helps us understand how we’re doing.
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Looking for us? Now, we’re MoneyHelper

MoneyHelper is the new, easy way to get clear, free,
impartial help for all your money and pension choices.
Whatever your circumstances or plans, move forward with MoneyHelper.

Continue to website
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for…
Talk to us live for pensions guidance using…
Talk to us live for money guidance using…
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 5.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for money guidance using the telephone
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed

* Calls are free. We’re committed to providing you with a quality service, so calls may be recorded or monitored for training purposes and to help us develop our services.

Talk to us live for pensions guidance using web chat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:9.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat, Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us live for money guidance using webchat
Hours
  • Mon – Fri:8.00am – 6.00pm
  • Sat:8.00am – 3.00pm
  • Sun and bank holidays:Closed
Talk to us for pensions guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 5 working days

Talk to us for money guidance using our web form

We aim to respond within 2 working days

Talk to us live for money guidance using WhatsApp

Download app: WhatsApp

For help sorting out your debts or credit questions. For everything else please contact us via Webchat or telephone.