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Decisions, changes and appeals

Once you have made a claim for Housing or Council Tax Support, you may be asked to provide supporting documentation or to clarify certain points. We will then aim to make a decision on your claim within a month. 

If you have agreed or registered to receive “e-notifications” then you will be sent an email advising you that notification letters are available for you to access. Either follow the link or go to My Benefits click on any of the links and look for “view my letters” - See the attached a step-by-step guide of how to do this.

If you have not signed up for e-notifications, then your Housing Benefit letters will be sent in the post to you. If you are only applying for Council Tax Support, you will be sent a new bill if your claim has been successful, this will detail the amount of reduction on your bill. To see the detail of how it is calculated you will need to register to view your Council Tax account here.

Changes

Your benefit calculated will be based on the information you have given to us. While we do receive updates of information from a number of sources such as:

  • Changes of benefits you may be in receipt of, such as Universal Credit or Tax Credits from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP)
  • Changes of rent charges from your Housing Association
  • Changes to your wages/pensions from data provided to the DWP
It is still your duty to make sure we know of any changes and in particular ones, which will not be passed on to us, such as:
  • Changes to your household, so when someone moves in or out or when their income changes
  • Changes to your savings – in particular when they go over £8,000, £10,000 and £16,000/
  • Changes to your rent if your Housing Benefit is paid directly to you.

Any changes can reported on the portal.

Appeals and Revisions

Once a decision is made, it is important that you check the details are correct, as you may receive benefit and/or pay reduced Council Tax that you are not entitled to which will have to be paid back in most circumstances.

The rules regarding entitlement are complex and if you are not sure your award is correct you should check with our customer services team in the first instance at customerservices@bedford.gov.uk.

If you do not agree with a decision, you should ask us to look it again. You can email us at benefitservice@bedford.gov.uk quoting your claim reference and explaining as clearly as you can what you think is wrong and what you think should be done about it. We will then aim to respond to you with six weeks.

If we are unable to revise the decision, you them have a right of appeal to an independent tribunal. There are two slightly different processes depending on which benefit you are appealing against:

  • Council Tax Support (Reduction) : you appeal directly to the Valuation Tribunal again explaining what you think is wrong and what you think the decision should be. The tribunal will then register your appeal and advise the Council. If the matter is still unresolved, then a hearing will be held (now remotely) where the tribunal will hear the case independently.
  • Housing Benefit: you need to write to the Council, explaining why you still disagree with the revision decision. If we are still unable revise, then a submission will raised and sent to the Tribunal Service (with a copy sent to you as well) and they will then arrange a hearing to decide the case independently.