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How to challenge a benefit decision

What are the benefit appeal rules?

If you are unhappy with a decision about your Child Benefit, Tax Credits or child maintenance benefits you can ask the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) to reconsider their decision.

Please note the existing appeal and dispute rules still apply to Housing Benefit.

The Appeal Process

  1. You receive a written decision about your benefits from the DWP or HMRC.
  2. If you are unhappy with this decision you can ask for a ‘mandatory reconsideration’.
  3. The DWP looks at their decision again.
  4. The DWP will telephone your to explain and discuss their decision.
  5. You may submit further evidence now or later (the sooner the better).
  6. You will receive a detailed mandatory reconsideration notice letter, including how to appeal.
  7. If you are unhappy with this decision, you have one month to send in the form ‘SSCS1’ directly to the court and tribunal service. You must also enclose the DWP mandatory reconsideration letter with your form.

You can get the form ‘SSCS1’ form from the DWP, an advice agency or on

  1. If the appeal contains further evidence the DWP will be asked to reconsider its decision.
  2. The tribunal service will write to you and you must reply.
  3. You can to attend a hearing if there one is needed. You will be told of the date.

If your mandatory reconsideration or appeal is made outside the allowed time, it may be accepted if there are reasonable circumstances. The DWP can also consider what’s called an ‘any time revision’ request if certain grounds are shown. Seek advice if necessary.

If you want to make a complaint about delays and other administrative aspects of your benefit, there is a procedure and form

Where can I get advice on making an appeal?

There are a range of benefit advice services available across Newcastle. Read the ‘Where to get benefit advice booklet.

Other Useful Information

For more information on the appeals process visit:

Last updated: November 3, 2020