Disputes and appeals
Find out about what you can do if we have made a decision about your Housing Benefit or Council Tax Support and you think it is wrong.
If you think the decision about Housing Benefit is wrong
This section tells you what you can do if we have made a decision about your housing benefit and you think it is wrong.
You can either
- Ask us to explain it
- Ask us to look at it again, or
- Appeal to an independent tribunal.
There are time limits for asking for decisions to be looked at again and for appealing. We tell you about these limits in this section.
If you would like us to look at a decision again or appeal to the Tribunals Service, you can download an appeals form by using the link at the bottom of the page.
Do you want to ask for more information about the decision?
When we have made a decision about your housing benefit claim we will write to tell you the outcome.
If you want more information about a decision we have made about your benefit you must contact us straight away.
This is because if you want us to look at the decision again or if you want to appeal against it, you must do so within one month of the date on the decision letter.
When you contact us for more information you have a choice:
- You can ask us to explain the reasons for the decision and/or
- If you want more information to help you decide what to do, you can ask us for a written statement of reasons for the decision if we have not already sent you one. You must do this within one month of the date of the decision letter. We will send the statement of reasons to you as soon as possible.
If you still disagree with the decision, you can either:
- Ask us to look at it again, or
- Appeal against the decision.
If you asked for a written statement of reasons within one month of the decision letter, the time you have to appeal will be extended by the time we took to send the statement of reasons.
Do you want to ask us to look at our decision again?
You must write to us within one month of the date on the decision letter if you want us to look at the decision again.
If there are special circumstances which mean you cannot write within one month, we may still be able to look at the decision again. Please tell us what the special circumstances are when you contact us.
What happens when we look at the decision again?
- When you ask us to look at the decision again, we will start by checking that the decision is correct
- A different member of staff will usually do this
- If the decision is wrong we will change it
- We will send you a letter telling you what the new decision is
- If the decision cannot be changed, we will send you a letter telling you that we cannot change it
You then have a further one month if you want to appeal to an independent tribunal. You can find out more about the independent Tribunal Service by visiting their website using the link on the right.
Do you want to appeal against our decision?
If you -
- Have had a letter telling you about a decision and
- That letter offers you the right to appeal
- And you believe the decision is wrong, you may want to appeal to an independent tribunal.
Council Tax Support - How to appeal a decision
Council Tax Support is not a benefit. Council Tax Support is a reduction made to a council tax account by issuing you a discount. Because of this the appeals process differs slightly to that which was in place for council tax benefit.
If you disagree with a decision about your Housing or Council Tax Support, you can:
- Ask us to explain the decision in more detail.
- Ask us to look at your Council Tax Support again and reconsider it.
- Make an appeal to Boston Borough Council which can progress to an independent tribunal.
Ask us to explain the decision in more detail
You can ask us to explain the decision in more detail. You can do this either by telephone or in writing. An explanation will be sent to you. This will not be treated as a reconsideration or an appeal.
Ask us to look at your Council Tax Support again and reconsider it
If you get a decision in writing from us about Council Tax Support, and you do not agree with the decision that has been made, you or a person acting on behalf need to write to us at the address at the top of the leaflet advising that you are aggrieved by the decision.
You must say why you think the decision is wrong. It is not enough to say ''I do not agree with the decision'' or ''The money is not enough''. The reason you give should provide specific details. If you are aggrieved by more than one decision, you must say why you do not agree with each one. You can do this by writing to the following address:
Boston Borough Council
(Council Tax Support Appeal)
This should be done as quickly as possible after we have made our decision. We will look at our decision again, and we must do this within 2 months of receiving your written notification.
If the decision can be changed:
- We will change the decision from the date of the original decision
- If you do not agree with the new decision, you can ask us to look at it again
If the decision cannot be changed:
- We will send you a letter telling you that we cannot change it. The letter will provide you with the reasons for this decision
- The letter will tell you if you can appeal against the original decision
If you make an appeal to the council and the council fail to respond, you will be able to appeal to the Council Tax Valuation Tribunal Service in accordance with the Council Tax Appeals Regulations.
What to do if you do not agree with our decision
If you do not agree with the original decision or the outcome of the reconsideration by the Council, you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service.
You can only make an appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service after you have asked the Council for a reconsideration.
You have a maximum of 4 months to apply to the Valuation Tribunal Service. The 4 months start from the date you first wrote to the Local Authority to advise you were aggrieved by the decision.
How to appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service
There are various ways you can appeal to the Valuation Tribunal Service - you can:
Write to the Valuation Tribunal Service:
You can write directly to the Valuation Tribunal Service at the following address:
Council tax reduction team
2 Trafford Court
Email: Or you can email firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: on 0300 123 2035
Are there any matters than cannot be subject of an appeal?
Yes there are.
The following specific matters cannot be the subject of an appeal under these provisions:
- the local Council Tax Support scheme provisions as set by the council
- any discretion applied to recover an overpayment of Council Tax Support
- who to recover an overpayment of Council Tax Support from
- suspending or restoring Council Tax Support
- any re-assessment resulting in you not advising us of a change in your circumstances within 21 days of the date of change
- any decision to refuse to grant a reduction under section 13A(1)(b) Local Government Finance Act 1992.
For independent advice or help with your appeal, you might want to contact an advice agency or organisation such as Boston's Citizens Advice Bureau on 01205 315915 or a solicitor.
Boston Borough Council will not pay any legal fees or travelling expenses relating to the appeal.
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