Mandatory reconsideration and appeals

Last updated: 19/03/2024

What can you do if you feel the decision you have received about your benefits is wrong?
If you disagree with a decision about benefits, tax credits or child maintenance you can ask for the decision to be looked at again – this is called ‘mandatory reconsideration’.

Benefits this applies to

You can ask for a mandatory reconsideration for the following benefits including:

  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child maintenance
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Income Support
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Universal Credit (including advance payments)
  • Tax credits
  • Child benefit

How do I ask for a mandatory reconsideration?

How you should ask for a mandatory reconsideration depends on whether the DWP or HMRC made the decision. HMRC makes decisions about tax credits and Child Benefit. The DWP makes decisions about most other benefits. Check your benefit letters if you’re not sure.

You can ask for mandatory reconsideration if any of the following apply:

  • you think the office dealing with your claim has made an error or missed important evidence
  • you disagree with the reasons for the decision
  • you want to have the decision looked at again.

How long do I have to ask for a mandatory reconsideration?

You usually need to ask for a mandatory reconsideration within one month of the date of the decision. You can ask for it after one month if you have a good reason, for example if you’ve been in hospital or had a bereavement.

How do I ask for a mandatory reconsideration?

Contact the benefits office that gave you the decision. You can contact them:

The contact details are on your decision letter, if you don’t have the decision letter then contact the office where you applied for the benefit.

What happens after I have requested a mandatory reconsideration?

The benefits office that gave you the original benefit decision will reconsider it.

When they’ve reconsidered it, you’ll get a letter called a ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’ telling you whether they’ve changed the decision.

The mandatory reconsideration notice will explain the reasons for that decision and the evidence it was based on.

What can I do if I still disagree with the decision?

You can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal if you think the decision in the mandatory reconsideration notice is wrong. The tribunal is supported by HM Courts and Tribunal Services (HMCTS) and is independent of government.

A judge will listen to both sides of the argument before making a decision.

You usually need to appeal within one month of the date of your mandatory reconsideration notice.

For appeals it is useful to get a representative to help for more information on appeals and where to find a representative.

Get in touch for more information.