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Housing Benefit appeals

Do you want our decision explained?

Once you receive your award letter, if you need more information about our decision, you can request a written statement of our reasons for making the decision. This must be done within one month of the date on the award letter.

Do you want us to look at the decision again?

If you have received your award letter or written statement of our reasons and you think our decision is wrong, you can ask us to look at the decision again by completing the request for reconsideration form (pdf). You must submit the form within one calendar month of the date on the award letter.

If you have asked for a written statement of reasons, you will have the one-month time limit from the date of the award letter, plus the time we took to send you the statement of reasons.

Once we receive your form, if we decide that our decision was wrong, we will amend your claim and a new award letter will be sent to you.

If the decision cannot be changed, we will send you a letter explaining why and let you know what you need to do next.

If the Housing Benefit decision has not been changed

If we do not change the decision, you may then appeal. You will need to complete the request for appeal form (pdf). This form must be printed and signed and you should return the completed form by:

  • Emailing it to or;
  • Post it to The Benefit Service, Sunderland City Council, Civic Centre, Sunderland, SR2 7DN

We will send your appeal with an explanation of the law, facts and any other relevant information used to make the decision, to the Tribunals Service. A copy of the appeal papers will be sent to yourself.

The Tribunals Service operated by the Department of Work and Pensions, will decide your appeal at a tribunal hearing. The tribunal is made up of people who are independent of the Council. Once a decision has been made, you will receive a decision notice explaining the tribunal's decision. If the decision is in your favour, your claim will be amended as soon as we receive the decision.

If the Council Tax Support decision has not been changed

If we cannot change the decision in your favour, or if we fail to inform you of our decision within two months, you can appeal direct to The Valutation Tribunal Service (VTS)

You must contact The VTS within 2 months from the date of our decision, or if we have failed to reply to you, you must apply within 4 months from the date you originally appealed to us.

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