Challenge a benefit decision (mandatory reconsideration)

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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’.

It’s free to ask for mandatory reconsideration.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg) and easy read format.

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

Some decisions cannot be reconsidered. Others can go straight to an appeal. Your original decision letter will say if this applies to you.

You usually need to ask for 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.

Benefits this applies to

You can ask for mandatory reconsideration for benefits including:

  • Attendance Allowance
  • Bereavement Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Carer’s Credit
  • child maintenance (sometimes known as ‘child support’)
  • Compensation Recovery Scheme (including NHS recovery claims)
  • Diffuse Mesotheliomia Payment Scheme
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Funeral Expenses Payment
  • Income Support
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA)
  • Maternity Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Sure Start Maternity Grant
  • Universal Credit (including advance payments)
  • Winter Fuel Payment
  1. Step 1 Find support and advice

  2. Step 2 Ask for mandatory reconsideration

    1. You are currently viewing: Ask for the benefits decision to be looked at again (mandatory reconsideration)

    You normally need to do this within one month of the date on your decision letter.

  3. Step 3 Appeal the decision to a tribunal

    If you’re unhappy with the decision after mandatory reconsideration, you can appeal it to a tribunal.

    1. Appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal
  4. Step 4 Ask for the tribunal's decision to be 'set aside' (cancelled)

    If you disagree with the decision, you can ask for it to be set aside (cancelled). The decision letter from the tribunal will tell you how to do this.

  5. or Appeal the tribunal's decision

    If you think the decision was wrong for a legal reason, you can appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

    1. Appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber)