Challenging a decision about your benefits

If you disagree with a decision about your benefit, you may be able to challenge their decision. You can challenge most decisions about benefits and tax credit.


Mandatory consideration

Before you can appeal, you must ask for the decision to be looked at again. This is called a “mandatory reconsideration”. This is not an appeal.

If you want to challenge a housing benefit decision, you can appeal without having to ask for a mandatory reconsideration 


How to request a mandatory reconsideration 

You must do this within one month of the date that the decision was sent to you.

1. Call the benefit office that gave you the decision. You can find their contact telephone number on your decision letter. 

2. Tell the adviser that you would like the decision to be looked at again and request for the decision maker’s notes to be sent to you. 


How to prepare for the phone call 

The adviser will ask you to explain why you want a mandatory reconsideration and they will take notes as you speak. So, it is a good idea to prepare what you are going to say before you call them. 

We have picked out the typical things that vision impairment may affect during a day. 

So, think about the days when you are at your worst and try to describe that worst day, from getting out of bed to going to sleep. Such as: 

  • What are you able to cook for yourself? 

  • How do you wash and get ready for the day, do you always need help, or if you need help, what sort of things that person helps you to do? 

  • What aids do you use in a day to be able to read? 

  • Meeting and talking to people as you go about your day 

  • If you have to go somewhere like the shops or somewhere new like an interview; how do you go about planning the journey? 

  • And, of course, as we all go about our day we need to walk. What aids to you use and what’s your comfort zone in terms of where you’ll go and how far. 

If you didn’t send through with your original claim, they will ask you to send any supporting evidence you may have along with your reconsideration request. 

Evidence such as a letter from a medical professional, for example your GP or consultant, or a social worker is always helpful. 



Once they have reconsidered your claim, the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) will send you a mandatory reconsideration notification with the outcome of their decision this can take up to 11 weeks.

If you are still not happy with their decision you can make an appeal to the DWP First Tier Tribunal. 

We would recommend that you contact the RSBC for help in doing this, we can take a look at your applications and advise the best way to proceed. 


Not sure where to start? RSBC can help 

If you are unhappy with the decision and you are the parent or guardian of someone who is vision impaired, or you are vision impaired yourself and aged 16 – 25 then please call the RSBC 0203 198 0225 and ask for help with applying for benefits. Or email 

We will take a look at your application and advise on the best way to challenge the decision. 


Published: 8th August 2018 

You can call us between 9am-5pm Monday - Friday on 020 3198 0225. Prefer us to call you?