Benefit challenges and appeals

2. Mandatory reconsideration

Before you can lodge an appeal against a decision that the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) or HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have made, you will usually have to ask them to look at the decision again. This is called mandatory reconsideration and applies to most benefits, but does not include Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support.

If you are challenging a DWP decision that you don't have 'limited capability for work', you should check your decision letter. If it says you don’t have to apply for a mandatory reconsideration, you can appeal directly to the tribunal instead.

Otherwise, if you are not happy with a decision, you must ask them to reconsider it within one month. You can do this by phoning the office who made the decision or by putting the request in writing. In Universal Credit cases, you can also do this via your online journal. If the request is late, you will need to give the reasons for this. You may want to provide any further information that you have which you feel supports your case.

The mandatory reconsideration decision

Once they have looked again at your case, they will provide their decision to you in writing. You will be sent two copies of the mandatory reconsideration notice which gives full reasons for the decision.  

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