If you do not agree with the way your benefit is worked out, you can ask for an independent tribunal to review it. This is also called an appeal.
Independent tribunals are managed by the Courts and Tribunals Service. For more information, please visit the Government website.
- You must ask us to review our decision within one month of the date of the original decision.
- If you asked for a written statement (above), this time will be extended. The written statement of reasons will tell you the deadline for asking us to look at the decision again.
- If you can’t meet this time limit, the independent tribunal may be able to extend it by up to 12 months. If you are making your appeal late, you must also tell us why it is late.
- You must appeal in writing and you must sign it. This means that you cannot send your request by email.
- You can only appeal if you are the person affected by the decision.
- In your appeal, you must identify the decision you think is wrong.
- You must include the reasons that you think the decision is wrong.
How long will it take?
- The whole appeal process usually takes three to eight months.
- We will try to prepare your appeal for the tribunal within one month.
What happens after I send you my appeal?
We will look at our decision again.
- If we can change the decision, and the new decision is better for you, your appeal will stop.
- If we can’t change the decision, or if a new decision is no better for you, your appeal will continue.
- If your appeal continues, we will send your appeal and our responses to the Courts and Tribunals Service. We will also send copies to you and your representative if you have one.
- When the Courts and Tribunals Service receives your appeal and our response, they will send you an enquiry form.
- You must read the enquiry form carefully, answer all the questions and send it back to the Courts and Tribunals Service. If you do not, your appeal will stop.
- The enquiry form will ask if you would like to attend the hearing to provide verbal evidence. If you do not want to attend the hearing, your appeal will be looked at based on the reasons you gave in your letters.
If the Courts and Tribunals Service accept your appeal, they will let you know the date and place of the hearing. For Dacorum, appeals are normally held in Watford.
What happens at the tribunal?
Normally, one person will hear your appeal. This person will be a qualified lawyer who specialises in Housing Benefit law and they will not work at Dacorum Borough Council. The tribunal may also include another person with financial qualifications.
If you go to the hearing, you may be asked questions. You will also be able to ask questions. If you prefer, you can take someone with you to help you. A person from the Council may also be present.
If you want to go to the hearing but you can’t, you must tell the Courts and Tribunals Service straight away. If you don’t, your appeal may be heard without you.
If you have asked for a paper hearing, you will not be asked to attend.
How do I find out the results?
You will be sent a written statement explaining the tribunal’s decision.
A copy will also be sent to the Council.
What if I disagree with the tribunal’s decision?
You may be able to appeal to the Upper Tribunal. But, you can only appeal to the Upper Tribunal on a point of law.
Your decision notice will tell you what to do if you are unhappy with their decision.