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Last updated:
19/10/2018

Can I appeal against my council tax support or housing benefit decision?

  1. Overview
  2. The appeals process
  3. Preparing your appeal
  4. How to write a submission for a benefits tribunal
  5. Making arrangements for the tribunal
  6. Going to the hearing
  7. Tips for representing yourself at a benefit tribunal
  8. Can I appeal against my council tax support or housing benefit decision?
  9. Sample letters for requesting evidence
  10. Next steps

In this section we explain how you can challenge a decision made by your local authority. This applies to benefits such as:

  • Council tax support, and
  • Housing benefit.

Council tax support

Your local authority is responsible for all council tax, exemptions and discounts in your area. Every local authority has their own appeals process. You can ring your local authority and they will be able to tell you more about their process.

If you do not agree with a council tax decision, you should contact your local authority and tell them you are appealing against the decision. You will have to fill in their appeals form, and they can explain the process.

You can send any evidence, which supports your reason for appealing with the form. This may include: 

  • bank statements,
  • proof that people are living at other addresses,
  • proof of your disability,
  • invoices and receipts that show money has been spent on essential items, or
  • any other evidence that proves the decision they have made about you is incorrect.

They should respond in two months. If they feel their original decision was right and do not agree with your appeal then you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service (VTS). If you want to appeal to the VTS, you need to do this within two months of the local authority’s decision

At appeal, you have to send an appeal form and the following information:

  • name and contact details,
  • address of the property,
  • why you feel you should have a discount or exemption,
  • the time period you think is relevant,
  • the date the local authority told you their decision (together with a copy of the decision letter).

You can do the appeal online on the Valuation Tribunal Service (VTS) website or contact them and they will send you the form. Find details for the VTS in our next steps section. 

Should I keep paying my council tax during my appeal?

Yes. You need to keep paying your council tax during the appeal period. If you are successful and your council tax bill is reduced they will take into account the amount you have already paid.

When you send in your appeal form, the VTS will send you a guide to what happens during the appeal process. When they have set a date for your appeal they will send you a Notice of Hearing, which tells you when your hearing will be. If you cannot make this date, you can ask them to reschedule it.

You can contact the VTS who will give you advice about how to prepare for the hearing. Take evidence with you to the hearing and explain why you do not agree with the decision. You can bring someone with you and they can speak for you. You can send someone to speak for you if you don’t go. If you want to do this, you need to send the VTS a letter telling them about this before the hearing date.

 

The hearings are open to the public and you may find it useful to go to someone else’s tribunal first so that you are familiar with the surroundings and process.

The hearings are open to the public and you may find it useful to go to someone else’s tribunal first so that you are familiar with the surroundings and process.

Housing benefit

If you don’t agree with your housing benefit decision you can ask the local authority to look at their decision again or appeal. If the local authority decides that their original decision was right, you can continue with the appeal. If they change their decision you can withdraw the appeal.

If you want to appeal you need to fill in your local authority’s appeal form. The letter about your decision will tell you where to send your appeal. You may have to send it back to the local authority or directly to the Tribunal. Read the Appeals section of this website for more information about appealing to a tribunal. You normally have one month to appeal or to ask the local authority to look at their decision again.

You normally have one month to appeal or to ask the local authority to look at their decision again.

To appeal a decision by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over the Housing Element of Universal Credit, you must ask for a mandatory reconsideration before you can appeal.

 

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Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. The appeals process
  3. Preparing your appeal
  4. How to write a submission for a benefits tribunal
  5. Making arrangements for the tribunal
  6. Going to the hearing
  7. Tips for representing yourself at a benefit tribunal
  8. Can I appeal against my council tax support or housing benefit decision?
  9. Sample letters for requesting evidence
  10. Next steps
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