Challenging Universal Credit decisions
If you think a decision about your Universal Credit (UC) claim is wrong you might be able to ask for it to be looked at again.
Asking for a review
You can ask for the decision to be looked at, or ‘reviewed’, again. This is called a ‘mandatory reconsideration’.
This could be because you were:
- paid the wrong amount
- sanctioned when you shouldn’t have been
- refused UC when you should be allowed to claim.
You need to ask for a review within 1 month of the decision date. In some circumstances this can be extended to 13 months but only if you can show you have a good reason for asking for the review late (for example, you were in hospital or needed an interpreter to understand the letters).
How do I ask for a review?
You can ask for a review by:
- writing a message in your UC journal
- calling the number on the decision letter
- completing a CRMR1 form and returning it to the address on the decision letter
- writing a letter to ask for a review and sending it to the address on the decision letter.
If you ask for a review online or by phone, it is usually a good idea to follow it up with a request in writing.
You should also provide your work coach with a copy of your review request.
If your UC journal has been closed because it was decided that you cannot claim, your only option may be to write to: Freepost DWP Universal Credit Full Service.
What to include
When you ask for a review make sure you include:
- your name, address and contact details
- your National Insurance number
- the date of the decision
- the reasons why you disagree with the decision.
Provide evidence such as wage slips, bills or your tenancy agreement to back up why you think the decision is wrong.
What happens next?
You should be told that your request for a review has been received.
The person who looks at your claim again should not be the same person who made the original decision. They may contact you to ask for more information if they need it. You should provide this to them as soon as you can.
When they have considered your claim, they will send you a mandatory reconsideration notice. This will tell you their new decision and why they made it.
If you’re happy with the decision, you don’t have to do anything else.
If you don’t agree with the decision
You can challenge the decision at an independent tribunal.
The tribunal will listen to your arguments, look at the evidence provided and tell you their decision.
There are strict time limits for taking cases to a tribunal. You should normally get your appeal in within 1 month of the date you received the mandatory reconsideration notice. In special circumstances this can be extended to 13 months (for example, if you were in hospital, needed an interpreter, or you live alone and had difficulty understanding the letters). Make sure you explain any reasons for applying late.
The easiest way for you to appeal is to complete a SSCS1 form.
For more advice on how to take your case to a tribunal click here.