Before the changes
People were able to appeal to a tribunal against a benefit decision without having to get the DWP or HMRC to look at the decision in dispute again.
After the changes
When wishing to challenge a DWP or HMRC decision you must first ask for a mandatory reconsideration ('revision') to enable the decision to be looked at again. You may ask for a mandatory reconsideration by phone or in writing. Normally any request must be made within one month. It is only after a mandatory reconsideration has been done that you may make an appeal if you remain dissatisfied at the outcome. This change began in October 2013.
This new rule does not apply to Housing Benefit or Council Tax Reduction decisions made by the council. Any appeal should be made on the new 'SSCS1 Form' and sent to the Her Majesty's Courts and Tribunal Service (MMCTS).
What you can do
Contact the Benefits Helpline for more information about this change and advice on what your options are if you are affected.