If you think a decision made about your benefits is wrong, you can ask the office that made the decision to explain or reconsider it.
If you're still unhappy, you can appeal it. Challenging a benefit decision might sound daunting, but don't be put off - the process may be easier than you think.
It's important to act quickly, because there are deadlines for submitting appeals. You usually have to appeal within a month of receiving the letter notifying you of the benefit decision.
A late appeal may be accepted if there is a good reason for doing so - perhaps because there is a lot of money at stake, you have a particularly strong case, or there is a good reason why it was late, such as illness of bereavement.
Start by contacting the office that made the decision and sending any evidence that will support your case. If they decide they can't change their decision, or they make a new decision but you're still unhappy with it, you can appeal.
Information on how to appeal is usually included in the benefit letter. You will have to fill in a form and send it to the office dealing with your claim.
Our benefits calculator may help you work out whether the benefit decision was right or not.
Download our factsheet to find out more about what happens when a benefit application is submitted, how to challenge a decision that might be wrong, and how to make a complaint. Download Challenging welfare benefit decisions (PDF 239 KB)
Set your location to see what Age UK offers in your local area.
The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) makes decisions about your social fund payments and benefits.
A download is a document (like a research report, a leaflet, or an application form) that can be transferred from our website to your computer. You can download a file, view it on your screen, print it, or save it to your computer.
PDF stands for ‘portable document format’.
Most downloads on this website are PDFs. We use this format to ensure that the document looks the same on everyone’s computer (website pages, by contrast, appear differently depending on how people have set their computer up).
Computers use a program called Adobe Acrobat Reader to download PDFs. If you try clicking on a link to download a PDF and it doesn’t work, you will need to install Adobe Acrobat Reader onto your computer.
The process is quite straightforward and is free.
PDFs cannot be changed.
Downloads will open on your computer in a new browser window.
Inside this window (below all your web browser menus), there will be a toolbar with options for you to print or save the document.
Close the browser window to return to the Age UK website.
We have made every effort to make our PDFs accessible to screen readers. Please ensure that you have downloaded the latest version of Acrobat Reader from the Adobe Reader website to ensure that accessibility options are included in your version of the programme.
You can use Adobe Reader to read a PDF out loud with the following shortcut keys:
You can convert a PDF document into a text file for use with other software and hardware such as Braille printers by opening the PDF and choosing ‘Save as text’ from the File menu.
Set the appearance of this website so you can read it more easily
To see information relating to Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales set your preference below: