Challenging a benefit decision

Mandatory Reconsideration

If you disagree with a decision about benefits you can ask for the decision to be looked at again - this is called ‘mandatory reconsideration’.

You can do this 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 to ask for mandatory reconsideration

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

  • by phone
  • by letter
  • by filling in and returning a form

The contact details are on your decision letter.

You need to ask for mandatory reconsideration within one month of the date on your decision letter. 

If you do not have your decision letter, contact the office where you applied for the benefit.

If you get Universal Credit

If you get Universal Credit you can use your journal to ask for mandatory reconsideration.

If you’re unable to use your journal, you can ask for mandatory reconsideration in any of the following ways:

Universal Credit helpline
0800 328 5644
Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm

If you’re not sure whether to ask for mandatory reconsideration or what evidence to give, call the Financial Inclusion Team for advice. 

Appealing against a DWP benefit decision

If you disagree with the outcome of the mandatory reconsideration, you can then appeal directly to an independent tribunal. You must send a written appeal directly to HM Courts and Tribunal Service, 

If you decide to appeal, your appeal must arrive at the Tribunal Service within one month of the date on your mandatory reconsideration notice. This one month time limit can be extended by up to a further 12 months in certain circumstances. If you miss the deadline, you should explain why your appeal is late.

Your appeal will usually be heard by a tribunal and you will have the chance to say why you think the decision is wrong.

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