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Mandatory reconsiderations and re-determinations

If you are unhappy with a benefit decision, you can apply for a mandatory reconsideration or re-determination to the office that made the decision on your claim.

  • Mandatory reconsiderations apply to decisions on all DWP benefits and Tax Credit decisions.
  • There are time limits for asking for a mandatory reconsideration. You should ask for reconsideration within one calendar month of the date on your decision letter (30 days for Tax Credit decisions) although this time limit can be extended in certain circumstances.
  • If the decision is revised in your favour, it is backdated to the date of the original decision.
  • If the decision remains unchanged, you then have the right to appeal to an independent appeal tribunal.

How to request a mandatory reconsideration - DWP Benefits

You must either phone or write to the DWP office that made the decision on your claim explaining that you disagree with the decision and want it looked at again through the mandatory reconsideration process.  You should do this within one calendar month of the date on the decision letter. You can find the contact details on the top of the first page of the decision letter. 

If it is out with the one month time limit, you may be able to get the DWP to accept a late mandatory reconsideration request but only if it is seen as reasonable, it is likely to be successful and you couldn't ask earlier because of special circumstances. Special circumstances could be things like being in hospital, suffering a bereavement or being too unwell to deal with things in time.

You can only ask for a late reconsideration up to 13 months after the original decision. The later the request for a reconsideration, the stronger your reasons for lateness need to be.   

Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)

To request a mandatory reconsideration of an ESA decision, please either phone the contact telephone number on your decision letter or write to:

Employment and Support Allowance
Mail Handling Site A
WV99 1PR

Personal Independence Payment (PIP)

To request a mandatory reconsideration of a PIP decision, please either phone the contact telephone number on your decision letter or write to:

Personal Independence Payment
Post Handling Site B
WV99 1AH  

Universal Credit (UC)

To request a mandatory reconsideration of a UC decision, please either phone the contact telephone number on your decision letter or write to the office that issued you with the decision, explaining why you disagree with the decision and that you want it looked at again.  You can find the contact details on the top of the first page of the decision letter. 

How to request a mandatory reconsideration - Tax Credits

You can ask for your Tax Credit decision to be looked at again if you think it's wrong. Call the Tax Credit Helpline on 0345 300 3900 first. They can check your award and change it if it's wrong.  

If you're still unhappy, you may be able to apply for a mandatory reconsideration. The decision notice the Tax Credit Office sent you will tell you if you can ask for a reconsideration.  To request a mandatory reconsideration, you will need to complete a  Tax Credit Reconsideration Form (PDF) [307KB]  and send it to the Tax Credit Office.

You must request a reconsideration within 30 days of when the Tax Credit Office sent you their decision.  They may accept your request if you miss the deadline, but you'll have to explain why it is late.  

How to request a re-determination - Social Security Scotland

If you disagree with a decision made by Social Security Scotland you can ask them to look again at what they have decided, this is called a re-determination.  You can do this if:

  • you have had a letter telling you that you're not going to be paid and you think you should
  • you think the amount you're going to be paid is wrong.

You can ask Social Security Scotland to look at their decision again by phoning 0800 182 2222 (8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) or if you're a British Sign Language user, use the contactSCOTLAND app to contact Social Security Scotland by video relay or you can complete a paper re-determinations form and return your completed form to:

Social Security Scotland
PO Box 10303

You will also be sent this form with the letter telling you whether you'll be paid or not.  From the day you receive Social Security Scotland's decision about your application, you have 42 days (6 weeks) to ask them to look again at what they decided.

If you want to ask Social Security Scotland after the 42 days have passed, you'll need to let them know the reason why.

If Social Security Scotland consider that there is good reason for the request being made late they can still accept it. As long as it is made no more than one year after you're informed of their decision.

What happens during a mandatory reconsideration and re-determination?

A decision maker, who has not been involved in your claim before, will look again at your claim to see if they can change the decision.  They will try to phone you to explain the decision and ask you to provide any additional evidence that may help your case (for example, a letter from your GP or any other professional involved with you). The decision maker will make at least two attempts to call you. If they can't reach you, they will go ahead with the mandatory reconsideration or re-determination on the basis of the evidence that is already available to them.

Will I still be paid Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) if the reason for asking for a mandatory reconsideration is because I have failed the Work Capability Assessment? 

You will not normally be able to get payment of ESA during the mandatory reconsideration period. You may be able to claim another benefit such as Universal Credit (UC) instead.

What happens when a decision is made?

Once the decision has been reconsidered, you will be sent two copies of the decision.  If the decision has been revised in your favour, you will be paid benefit from the date of the original decision.

If it is decided that the decision cannot be changed in your favour, you can then appeal to an independent appeal tribunal.

Contact the Welfare Rights Team

You can refer yourself (or someone else) to the Welfare Rights Team using our Online Form if you need advice or assistance.

Last modified on 14 December 2022

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