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Challenging a Universal Credit decision - Have the decision looked at again

If you think a Universal Credit decision is wrong, you may be able to ask for an explanation, have the decision looked at again or appeal against the decision

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 letter asking for a mandatory reconsideration 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. Including details of any special circumstances that prevented you contacting them in time.

A mandatory reconsideration request can be accepted up to 13 months from the date of the decision, however, the longer you leave it the more compelling your reason for being late must be.

Possible outcomes

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

If they decide the decision is wrong, they will change the decision and send a new decision letter.

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, you can find out more on the next page.


Updated June 2018

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