How to challenge a DWP decision
The DWPs role is to assist those who are in need of financial support due to their own personal circumstances but they can at times make the wrong decision. This may be for a number of reasons but it is usually because insufficient information has been provided to them (ie. By the claimant themselves or another party such as a medical professional). A wrong decision may have been made because the DWP has misunderstood a claimant’s medical condition or personal circumstances or simply because they do not accept the information provided. It can be difficult to sufficiently explain your situation to claim the benefits you are entitled to or you may have forgotten to provide key information to assist your claim. Lucinda Dore Legal Services can help you with this.
Any person is entitled to appeal against a decision made about them or a person that they care for but there is a strict process that needs to be followed:-
Step 1 – Request a Mandatory Reconsideration
You may request a Mandatory Reconsideration within 1 month of the DWP decision being reached. A Mandatory Reconsideration is in simple terms a request that the DWP have another look at their decision as they may reconsider it.
There are a number of ways that you can request a Mandatory Reconsideration (you will find the contact details for all the options on the original decision letter):-
If you are not quite sure whether you wish to request a Mandatory Reconsideration, you can simply request a written statement of reasons, which provides more information than the original decision letter – the statement of reasons will explain why they made their decision (this does not apply to PIP decisions as the statement of reasons will be provided with the original decision). Be careful with the time limits for this however as if you do decide to proceed to a Mandatory Reconsideration – you must do so within 14 days of the statement of reasons.
We can help you making a mandatory reconsideration as the DWP may change their mind with further explanation and information avoiding the need for a formal appeal as explained next -
Step 2 – Appeal to the Social Security & Child Support Tribunal
If, after your request for the Mandatory Reconsideration, the decision has not been changed, the next step is to appeal to an independent Tribunal.
You must appeal within 1 month of the date of the Mandatory Reconsideration.
Appeals are decided by the Social Security & Child Support Tribunal who are independent from the DWP.
At the Appeal Tribunal Hearing a Judge and/or independent medical professionals will make a decision whether the original decision was correct. You will be able to attend the hearing yourself to give live evidence about your situation and you will be able to submit further evidence in support of your appeal.
We can assist you at any stage of the appeal process. Contact us today and we can advise you how best to proceed with your appeal.