Understanding the decision on a housing benefit claim
When we deal with your Housing Benefit claim we will send you a decision letter which shows how your claim has been calculated.
If you do not understand the letter or want to know more about the content within it, please contact us for an explanation, you must do this within one month of the date on your letter.
How to contact us
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org (please quote the claim number from your letter in your email).
- Telephone: 01628 683800.
- By post: Revenues & Benefits, Town Hall, St Ives Road, Maidenhead, Berks SL6 1RF.
- In person: Appointments are available on request, please contact us using one of the methods above for further information and support
If you wish, you can seek advice on your claim from a law centre or third party such as the Citizen’s Advice Bureau. They will be able to assist you with understanding your claim and to help you with any further queries that you may want to send to us.
If you think the decision is wrong
Once the decision has been explained to you, if you still disagree then you can ask us to reconsider the decision. A request for a reconsideration needs to be made in writing (e-mail is acceptable) and submitted within one month of either the date on your decision letter or the date on any further explanation letter that may have been sent to you.
If you ask us to reconsider your claim then the matter will be looked at by a different member of staff to the one who made the original decision. We will review what has happened so far and look at any new details or information that you have provided. There will be one of three outcomes:
- The original decision will remain unchanged;
- The decision will be changed to your advantage – meaning more Housing Benefit;
- The decision will be changed to your disadvantage – meaning less Housing Benefit.
We will notify you of the outcome in writing.
If the decision is unchanged and you still disagree with it, you have the right to appeal and have your case heard by an independent tribunal. This tribunal is entirely separate from the council and will contain at least one legally qualified expert in the area that your appeal involves.
Any request for an appeal needs to be sent to this office, in writing, within one month of the date on the letter notifying you of the outcome of your request for the claim to be reconsidered. We will then send the case to HM Courts & Tribunal Service.
When an appeal is sent to HM Courts & Tribunal Service for a hearing, a copy of all paperwork will also be sent to you. You will then be contacted by HM Courts & Tribunal Service and asked whether you want your appeal to be heard in person or to be decided without a hearing taking place.
An appeal hearing is your opportunity to explain your position, ask any questions and to state why you believe that the decision we have made is wrong. The tribunal will look at the case as a whole and make a decision based on the law, your comments, and those made by us (the council).
The decision of the tribunal will be sent to you in writing.