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Benefits and council tax reduction appeals

Appeals for housing benefits

Special regulations tell us how to work out your benefit, how to pay your benefit, and how any overpaid benefits should be recovered.

You have the right to:

  • know how we have calculated your benefit
  • ask for an explanation of the decision we have made
  • ask us to look at your claim again
  • challenge any decision we have made
  • ask for an independent appeal tribunal to look at any decision we have made

If you want more information about our decision you must contact us immediately. You can ask for a written statement of reasons for the decision, and the statement will note:

  • the information we have used to make our decision
  • how your benefit has been calculated
  • the way any overpayment has been calculated, if applicable
  • the relevant housing benefit, local housing allowance/council tax reduction regulations used in our decision and why they apply or not

You can ask us to look at your claim again or you can appeal against our decision. There is only one month from the date of the decision letter to do either of these things.

You must request this in writing. We shall check if the decision is correct, and if the decision is wrong we will change it. If the decision cannot be changed, we shall write to inform you. In either case, the one month time limit starts again if you appeal.

If you want to appeal against the decision you must tell us within one month of the decision letter. Alternatively if you asked us to look at the decision again, you must tell us within one month from that decision.

You must:

  • write down the decision you are appealing against
  • the reasons for your appeal
  • ensure you sign it

Should our decision be wrong, we will change it. If the decision cannot be changed, the appeals service will look at your appeal at a tribunal hearing. The tribunal is independent from the council. It is composed of legally qualified people trained in housing benefit, and local housing allowance.

If your appeal is late, you must include an explanation of why you could not appeal within one month.

Please note that some decisions do not carry the right to appeal.

Appeals for council tax reduction

You should always continue to pay your original bill until a decision has been made on your appeal.

Council tax reduction is not a benefit and the appeals process differs to that for housing benefit. If you disagree with our decision, you will need to write to us and explain why you think the decision is wrong. This should be done as quickly as possible after we have made our decision.

Send your signed letter to us stating the nature of the appeal and provide additional evidence where appropriate.

We will consider the matter will further, and we must reply within two months notifying the party concerned of our decision.

If you are still not satisfied with the decision, you should appeal in writing to the Valuation Tribunal for Wales.

Contact

Valuation Tribunal for Wales
South Wales Region
Gold Tops
Newport
NP20 4PG

If agreed by both parties, the tribunal will then deal with the case via written representations. Otherwise, a date will be set for a formal hearing. You will only incur a cost if you choose to employ a solicitor, and we will abide by the tribunal’s decision.

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