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Challenging Department for Work and Pensions benefit decisions - Have the decision looked at again.

If you think a Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) benefit decision is wrong, you may be able to get it changed.

Have the decision looked at again.

You should ask the benefit office to look at the decision again if you think the decision is wrong.

This is known as a ‘mandatory reconsideration’ of the decision.


Write to the benefit office using the contact details on your decision letter and request a mandatory reconsideration of the decision. You can use the Mandatory Reconsideration Request form to request a mandatory reconsideration or write a letter.
Explain in detail why you think the decision is wrong including any relevant dates.
You should send your mandatory reconsideration letter by recorded delivery so there is a record of when it was sent and also keep a copy of the letter.
A different decision maker will look at the decision and decide whether it should be changed.

If you are asked for more information or evidence, you should provide this as soon as possible and let them know if there will be a delay.

Time limits

You have one month from the date on the decision letter to ask for the mandatory reconsideration.

You may get longer if you ask for an explanation of the decision to be sent to you.

If you missed the deadline for reasons out of your control, such as illness or bereavement, you may still be able to have your decision looked at again.

When you contact the benefit office, you should explain why you missed the deadline.

Possible outcomes

When the decision has been looked at again you will be sent a mandatory reconsideration notice containing the new decision from the DWP.

If they decide the decision is wrong they will change it.

If they decide that they can’t change the decision they will write to you to confirm this and tell you if you have a right to appeal.

Keep the mandatory reconsideration notice safe, you will need it if you want to appeal against this decision.

If you still think the decision is wrong:

You may be able to appeal against the decision. Find out more on the next page.


Reviewed April 2022

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