If you are unhappy with a benefit decision, you can apply for a mandatory reconsideration to the office that made the decision on your claim.
- Mandatory reconsiderations apply to decisions on all DWP benefits,Tax Credit decisions and Social Security Scotland benefits.
- 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
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
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 [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 mandatory reconsideration - Social Security Scotland
You can ask Social Security Scotland to look again at what they've decided if either you've had a letter telling you that you're not going to be paid or you think the amount you're going to be paid is wrong. You can do this by calling 0800 182 2222 (freephone, 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) or by filling in the 'Ask us to look at our decision again' form - you get this form with the letter telling you whether you'll be paid the benefit or not.
You have the right to appeal to a Tribunal if you do not agree with what Social Security Scotland decide or if Social Security Scotland tell you it has not been able to look at their decision again within 16 working days.
What happens during a mandatory reconsideration?
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 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 called the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice. 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.