Benefit appeals

For Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction when we have processed your claim or change in circumstances we will send you a letter. This letter will outline how your claim was worked out. If you do not agree with our decision you have a legal right to challenge. So if you don’t agree you can:

  • ask us for a more detailed reason for our decision; or
  • ask for a reconsideration of the decision; or
  • appeal to an independent tribunal.

If you are in receipt of Universal Credit and you wish to appeal the decision you will need to appeal to the Department for Work and Pensions. You get further information by visiting the Department for Works and Pensions website.


There are different rules depending on whether you get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction.

Housing Benefit Reconsiderations

You must ask for a Housing Benefit Reconsideration within 1 month of the date of our decision.

Once you have asked for a reconsideration we will write to you to tell you whether we have changed or kept our original decision.

Council Tax Reduction Reconsiderations

There is no time limit, but we would suggest that you ask for the reconsideration within 1 month of the date of our decision letter.

We have 2 months to reply to you. If after we have replied you are still not happy with our decision you can appeal our decision with the Valuation Tribunal within 2 months of the date of our reconsideration decision letter to you.

If we do not reply to your request within 2 months you can appeal directly to the Valuation Tribunal without waiting for our reply.

How to ask for Reconsideration

You can write to us, email or use our online reconsideration form.

Access to the online form is via the MySouthend portal. You do not need to have a MySouthend account, you can select ‘continue without registering’ from the login page. Once in MySouthend, the form is under the ‘Benefits’ section from the main menu, titled ‘Reconsideration Request’.

It is important that you:

  • make it clear what decision you want us to look at again/disagree with
  • include your claim number
  • say why you think we are wrong
  • include any information or evidence you think we don’t already have

Outcome of the Reconsideration

If as a result of a reconsideration the decision is overturned in your favour there is no further action for you to take. If it is not overturned and is upheld you can appeal against the decision.


There are different rules depending on whether you get Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction.

If you get Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction you will need to do 2 separate appeals.

Housing Benefit appeals

You can ask for the Tribunals Service (an independent organisation) to look at your case at an appeals tribunal.

If we have already reconsidered your claim and have not changed the decision, you must write and ask for an appeal within 1 month from the date of the letter confirming our original decision.

Council Tax Reduction appeals

If we:

  • have not replied to your request for reconsideration within the 2 month time limit


  • we have replied but you are still unhappy with the decision (must be within 2 months of the reconsideration decision letter)

you can write to the Valuation Tribunal directly to ask for an appeal. We cannot do this for you. You will need to fill in an appeal form which you can find on their website.

For more information about appeals please see our related downloads.

Contact Benefits

Telephone: 01702 215001

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