Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction

Can I appeal a decision

When you apply for Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction we will give you a decision in writing about your claim. If you disagree with it you can ask us to look at it again.

We want to make sure that you are getting all the benefits you are entitled to. But we may have overlooked something, you may have completed your application form incorrectly or maybe we have simply made a mistake. If you are not happy with the way your benefit has been calculated we want to hear from you so that we can put it right

There are different ways in which you can do this. You can contact us to:

  • Ask us to explain our decision
  • Ask us to look at the claim again
  • Appeal against the decision

There is a different process for Housing Benefit and Council Tax Reduction reviews.

Housing Benefit – If you want us to look at the decision again

You must write to us within one month of the date on the decision letter. If there are special circumstances which mean you cannot write to us within one month, you must contact us to explain why because we may still be able to look at our decision again.

The decision will be checked by a different officer to the one who made the original decision, to see if it is correct.

If you want to proceed with a formal appeal you must appeal by writing a letter or filling in an appeal form, which you can get from us. You must send your appeal to our Lerwick office within one calendar month of the date on the letter.

The Tribunals Service will make a decision about your appeal at a tribunal hearing. The tribunal hearing is made up of people who are independent of us.

Click on the following links for a more detailed information on appeals :

Council Tax Reduction – If you want us to look at the decision again

Council Tax Reduction is a reduction on your council tax you may be entitled to if you are on a low income. If you are dissatisfied with the Council Tax Reduction decision made, you can, provided it is done within two months of that decision, seek a review of the decision by writing to us requesting a review. A review of eligibility for Council Tax Reduction will consider the amount of income a person has with the amount that a person needs to live on (their applicable amount) this will vary depending on the circumstances of the individual and their dependents.

The request for review must state the reasons why the individual thinks the Council Tax Reduction decision is incorrect. We must consider the request and reply with our decision in writing within 2 months. A request for a review of Council Tax Reduction should be sent to our Benefits Office

Further Review

If after receiving a review decision by us you remain dissatisfied then you can seek an independent ruling from the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel who will conduct a further review.

A further review by the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel can only be requested after the relevant local authority has carried out an internal review.

The only exception to this is if you do not receive a written response from us within two months of writing requesting a review. If this occurs the individual or their representative can request in writing an independent ruling from the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel.

The Council Tax Reduction Review Panel is an independent body which is an addition to the Scottish Tribunals Service, providing an additional review service to safeguard individual’s rights to administrative justice when assessing an individual’s eligibility for Council Tax Reduction. They will consider the facts presented to them and give an independent ruling as to whether the decision made by your local authority is correct or not.

An application for further review should be made directly by the individual applicant or their representative in writing to the:

Council Tax Reduction Review Panel
Europa Building
450 Argyle Street
Glasgow G2 8LH

Further information, including application forms, are available via their website http://counciltaxreductionreview.scotland.gov.uk/index.htm or by tel: 0141 302 5840.

They can also be e-mailed at: ctrrpadmin@scotcourtstribunals.gov.uk

When notified by the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel of a further review The Council will forward our decision regarding the review and the supporting documentation to the Council Tax Reductions Review Panel. This includes copies of the notification of review to the applicant, responses to that notice, relevant extracts from the applicants Council Tax Reductions application, summary of response to review and any other supporting communications. We will also forward a copy of the documentation we are submitting to the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel to the applicant at this time, prior to the hearing.

Information regarding the Council Tax Reduction Review Panel including the extent of their powers is available via their website at http://counciltaxreductionreview.scotland.gov.uk/

Further information regarding Council Tax Reduction, how it works, FAQs and Reviews are also available via the Scottish Government website at: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Topics/Government/local-government/17999/counciltax/CTR