What is a housing benefit appeal?
We consider the evidence you provide and benefit legislation when you make a claim for housing benefit. You will be sent a decision letter. The letter will advise how much your benefit entitlement is, whilst showing you the figures we used in our calculation.
We always aim to make the right decision. However, if you disagree or would like us to reconsider our decision, you can request a review. Reviews must be in writing within one calendar month of the date of our decision. Your appeal rights will be on the reverse of your decision letters.
Or you can post your request to:
Ashford Borough Council
Kent TN23 1PL
What happens next?
Your review will be handled by a benefits officer who has had no previous part in the decision. They will look again at all the facts about your benefit claim to make sure the decision was made correctly.
If the officer decides the decision was wrong, then it will be changed. This could be from the date the first decision took effect, or from an earlier or later date. Whatever part of your claim is changed, our decision will be explained in writing.
If the benefits officer does not agree that a mistake has been made in the way your benefit was worked out, then you will also be told this in writing. You will be asked if you want to take your appeal further to an Independent Tribunal. If you would like to do this you must do so, in writing, within one calendar month of the date of the Local Authority's letter. The Local Authority will then forward your appeal to HM Courts & Tribunal Services.
What is a council tax reduction appeal?
We consider the evidence you provide and take into account our local council tax reductions scheme when reviewing applications for council tax reduction.
You will be sent a letter of our decision and a revised council tax bill, if applicable. The letter will advise how much your council tax reduction is, whilst showing you the figures we used in our calculation.
We always aim to make the right decision, but if you disagree with the decision you may notify the council that you are not satisfied. There is no time limit in which you can do this, and we will aim to respond to you within two months.
If you are then still not satisfied with our response, you must appeal to the Valuation Tribunal within two months of our notification. Before the Valuation Tribunal will accept any appeal from you, you must have first raised the matter with the council. Visit the Valuation Tribunals website for more information. Alternatively, write to them at:
Valuation Tribunal Service
2 Trafford Court
Telephone 0300 1231033 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
What if I have a query about how you have worked out my housing benefit or council tax reduction entitlement?
You can write to us to seek further clarification if you don’t understand why we have made our decision.
This is called a request for a "statement of reasons". A letter will then be sent to you explaining your benefit calculation in more detail.
What if I want to complain about the way my claim for housing benefit and council tax reduction has been, or is being dealt with?
You can ring and ask to speak to a senior revenues and benefits officer, who has day to day responsibility for the processing of housing benefit and council tax reduction claims. If they cannot give you a clear answer or explanation, then ask to speak to the revenues and benefits manager. If you are still not satisfied with what you are told, follow the council's complaint procedure.