If you have been refused a benefit

How to appeal a decision

If you have been refused a Department for Works and Pensions benefit and wish to challenge it, you must either call them or write to them within one month to ask them to look at their decision again. This is called a mandatory reconsideration.

If you are still unhappy with the decision after it has been looked at again you can continue to appeal using an appeal form.

You must say why you want to appeal, for example:

  • 'I have difficulty walking and think I qualify for the benefit’
  • ‘I have difficulty looking after myself and I think I qualify for the benefit’
  • ‘I do not agree that the level has been truly assessed’

The appeal form should be returned within one month of the date on your mandatory reconsideration letter and you should enclose a copy of this with the appeal form. If it is later than one month you may still be able to appeal but you must give the reasons why your appeal is late.

The form will ask if you want to attend your hearing in person or would like it to be heard on the papers. If you decide to attend your appeal in person, it will take place at a local appeal court in Sheffield, Barnsley or Doncaster.

The form also asks if you would like less than 14 days’ notice of your hearing. Do not tick this box if you need help with your appeal as it is unlikely that there will be enough time to arrange this before you receive a date for your hearing.

The appeal process

Once your appeal has been received you should receive an acknowledgement soon after. You should also receive the paperwork for your appeal, which should include a copy of the claim form you completed, a couple of months later.

Complete and print an appeal form