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Can I appeal against a benefits decision?

When you receive a decision about housing or council tax benefit from us, please check your notification letters carefully. These show all the details that have been used to calculate your entitlement.

If you want to know more about the decision, or if you think it is wrong, you must contact us within one calendar month of the date of your decision letter.

You can ask us to explain our decision, look at our decision again, and if you still disagree, you can appeal.

Find out more using the links below:

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Ask us to explain our decision

If you want us to explain our decision, you must contact us within one calendar month. Call our team on 01543 308900, email us at benefits@lichfielddc.gov.uk or pop into our Frog Lane reception. We will look at your claim and write to you to explain how the decision was arrived at.

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What to do if I still disagree with your decision

Once we have explained how the decision was arrived at, if you still disagree, you can ask us to look at your claim again and a different benefits officer will assess your claim.

You must write to us telling us, again within one calendar month. Please include all the reasons and evidence to support why you think it is wrong.

Either email us at benefits@lichfielddc.gov.uk or write to:

Revenues and Benefits Services,
Lichfield District Council,
District Council House,
Frog Lane,
Lichfield,
Staffordshire, WS13 6YX

If you need help to do this, you can contact our benefits team or, if you prefer, an external organisation such as the Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help you.

You can also appoint a representative to act on your behalf. If you do want to appoint a representative, you must provide us with written authorisation signed by you.

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What if I don't contact you within one month?

If you don't contact us within one month after the date of a decision, we still may be able to help you if there were special circumstances that prevented you from contacting us on time. These could be a death, a serious illness, absence abroad, a postal strike or some other special circumstance. Please let us know the special circumstances when you contact us.

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What to expect after disputing a claim

A different benefits officer will look at your claim and will write to you with their conclusions. If the decision is changed, you can either accept this, or you have fresh dispute rights.

If the decision is not changed, you can appeal, and you have one month to contact us to let us know you want to appeal.

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How to appeal

If you want to appeal against the decision, you should write to us clearly stating this and include all the reasons and evidence to support why you think it is wrong.

Revenues and Benefits Services
Lichfield District Council
District Council House
Frog Lane
Lichfield
Staffordshire, WS13 6YX

If you need help with your appeal, as with disputes, you can contact the benefits team or, if you prefer, an external organisation such as the Citizens Advice Bureau may be able to help.

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About appealing

Appeals are heard by the Tribunal Service, which is an external independent organisation.

Before an appeal goes to the Tribunal Services, we will look at your claim again to see if we can resolve the dispute. If the decision is changed at this point we will write to you and you will have fresh dispute rights.

If the decision is not changed, the benefits team will prepare a report that is sent to you and the Tribunal Service and any representative you may have told us about.

If you have had a change of circumstances that could affect your benefit, you should tell the us straightaway and do not wait for the appeal hearing.

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The tribunal hearing

The Tribunal Service will decide your appeal at a tribunal hearing. Both you and a representative from the council will be invited to attend, although the hearing will go ahead if you don't want to be present. You can bring someone with you to assist you at the hearing.

The tribunal members will be experts on the issues involved in your appeal and will have one legally qualified member who is not from the council. The tribunal can only look at the evidence, the law and the circumstances at the time the decision was made and will hear evidence from you and the council and will make its decision.

You will be notified in writing about the decision. The tribunal will include information about your rights if you disagree with the decision.

If you need further information please visit the Tribunal Service website or pick up a leaflet from the council offices.

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Extending time limits to appeal

If you appeal more than one month from the date of the decision, we cannot extend the time limit, only the Appeals Tribunal can do this.

We will still refer your claim to them, attaching any information you provide supporting the reasons why the appeal was late. The tribunal will write to you to confirm whether your appeal can still go ahead.


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Get in touch or visit...

Our location and travel details >>

Phone our contact centre: 01543 308 000
District Council House, Frog Lane, Lichfield, Staffs, WS13 6YY

If you need to contact a team direct, please visit our contacts page for team phone numbers and email addresses.

Opening times

Our main reception at Frog Lane in Lichfield is open Monday - Friday, 8.45am - 5.15pm. Our phone lines close at 5pm.