If things go wrong when you’re claiming for benefits, it can be very worrying for families with concerns about paying for basic needs like food and rent. Below are details of how to complain about various benefits:
You can complain about Universal Credit (and Job Seekers Allowance), regarding delays, payment disputes, etc, online here: https://jsacomplaints.itsshared.net/start.
You can complain about tax credits by writing or calling the Tax Credit Office. You can find all the details here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/hm-revenue-customs/contact/tax-credits-enquiries.
If you do not agree with the response, you can ask them to review their response and send you a final decision.
If you are unhappy with the final decision, you can contact the Independent Adjudicator here: http://www.adjudicatorsoffice.gov.uk/.
Personal Independence Payments
You can complain about Personal Independence Payments via the contact details at the top of the correspondence you have received from the DWP or by calling 0345 850 3322.
If you’re still unhappy after discussing the decision with DWP, you can formally ask them to look at their decision again. This is called ‘mandatory reconsideration’ – you have to do this before you can appeal a decision.
You can ask for this during your first discussion with DWP or later on. You can phone or write to DWP using the details on your decision letter. You have to ask for a mandatory reconsideration within 1 month of the date of your decision letter.
You must give reasons why you’re asking for a reconsideration. You might want to include further information to support your case. You’ll receive a ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’ as a response.
You can appeal your decision to the courts if you’re still unhappy with DWP’s response in the mandatory reconsideration notice here: http://hmctsformfinder.justice.gov.uk/HMCTS/GetForm.do?court_forms_id=3038.
Complaints about other benefits
If you have a complaint about any other benefit, then follow the complaints procedure here: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/department-for-work-pensions/about/complaints-procedure.
What to do if you aren’t satisfied?
NB: The following does not apply to tax credits.
If you’ve been through all the complaints stages, received our final response and still aren’t satisfied, you can ask the Independent Case Examiner (ICE) to look at your complaint. You must contact them within 6 months of getting our final response and send them a copy of it. You can do that here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/how-to-take-a-complaint-to-the-independent-case-examiner/how-to-bring-a-complaint-to-the-independent-case-examiner.
The Independent Case Examiner can’t look at matters of law or government policy. They won’t look at benefit or maintenance decisions, for example, because you can appeal against these.
If they accept your complaint, they will look at what happened and what we did about it. If they think we should have done more, they will ask us to put matters right. They will act as an impartial referee and you will not be charged for their service.
If you don’t agree with the response from the Independent Case Examiner, you can ask me to send your complaint to the Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman.