(UK excluding Scotland)
If you disagree with a benefit decision you can challenge it and ask for it to be reconsidered by the DWP. This is called a ‘mandatory reconsideration’.
You may wish to challenge the decision if your claim is turned down, or you do not receive the level of benefit you think you are eligible for.
You have one calendar month from the date of your decision letter to ask for the benefit to be reconsidered. This is called the ‘dispute period’. If your original decision letter did not include a ‘written statement of reasons’, you can ask the DWP to send you a copy.
To ask for a mandatory reconsideration, you can contact the benefits office by telephone, by letter, or by filling in a form that can be downloaded from the Government website. This allows you to provide further information as to why you disagree with the decision and to provide additional evidence to support your argument. If the decision maker agrees with you, they can ‘revise’ the original decision.
It can take up to two months for the DWP to reconsider their decision, although in some cases it can take longer.
If you still do not agree with the decision following a mandatory reconsideration, you can appeal. It is best to use an approved DWP form when appealing which can be downloaded on the Government website. An appeal can also be submitted online as well.
For Northern Ireland, please see the following website for information on mandatory reconsiderations and the appeal process www.nidirect.gov.uk/appeal-benefits-decision
Turn2Us has some useful guides for PIP, ESA and UC, on how to challenge a decision.
If you disagree with a decision about benefits administered by Social Security Scotland you can request that this be reconsidered. This is known as a ‘re-determination’. Your application will be treated akin to a new application, allowing you to provide new evidence, should you have any, to support your claim.
The timescale you have available to request a re-determination can differ depending upon the type of benefit it relates to. For example, with the Child Disability Payment, you have 42 days from your decision date to submit your request, whilst others such as the Young Carer Grant allow you 31 days.
You can submit your re-determination request to Social Security Scotland by post, as your decision letter will be accompanied by a re-determination form, or telephone them at 0800 182 2222.
How long you will need to wait to receive your re-determination decision is dependent upon the benefit it relates to. To illustrate this Social Security Scotland has 56 working days to make a re-determination decision regarding Child Disability Payment whereas they have just 16 days for a Young Carer Grant.
Should you disagree with Social Security Scotland’s re-determination decision you can appeal to a tribunal. This has to be made within 31 days of receiving their re-determination decision letter.
Citizens Advice Scotland provides guidance on challenging a Social Security Scotland decision, incorporating re-determinations and tribunals.