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Challenging Benefit Decisions

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There are a number of reasons you may want to challenge a benefit decision, such as:

  • you were not awarded the benefit
  • you were awarded the benefit, but you are unhappy with the length of the award
  • you were awarded the benefit, but you are unhappy with the rate
    of the award

The rate (amount) of the award refers to benefits that have standard and higher rates, several different components that make up the overall award or an amount of payment that is discretionary, such as a payment from the Scottish Welfare Fund.

Most benefits have a two-stage process for challenging a decision: a decision review stage (different organisations use different terms for this) and an appeal stage. This guide will explain the process for each organisation.

When you challenge a benefit decision, it is important to be aware that the new decision replaces the original decision completely, and you cannot choose to go back to the original decision. Following a review or appeal, your benefit award could be increased, stay the same, be reduced or stop altogether.

Although the different terms used by different organisations can be confusing, a benefit challenge should not be refused because you use the wrong terminology to request it. If it is clear that you are asking for the decision to be looked at again, the request should be accepted.

Benefit Workshops

The benefits system is complicated. It can be difficult to work out what you are entitled to, and how to claim it. Find out more about joining one of our Benefit Workshops here

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