How to appeal against a disability benefits decision

Money Advice Service

If you’re unhappy with a decision about your sickness or disability benefits, it’s important to follow the right process. Here’s a summary of what you need to do and when.

Contact the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP)

As a first step, you can contact the DWP and tell them why you don’t agree with their decision.

The telephone number and address will be on their decision letter.

You can ask them to explain the reasons for the decision.

If you are not satisfied with their explanation you can ask for a mandatory reconsideration.

This means another person will look at the decision again and see if it can be changed.

You must ask for a mandatory reconsideration within one month of the date on the decision letter.

Act quickly if you want to challenge the decision.

If you miss the deadline, the DWP doesn’t have to accept your request unless you had a very good reason, for example you were in hospital, or a close relative died.

How to ask for a mandatory reconsideration


Make sure you read the notes about how to disagree with a decision before asking for a mandatory reconsideration.

If you disagree with a benefits decision you are allowed to ask for the decision to be looked at again. This is called a mandatory reconsideration.

You must ask for this within one month of the date on your decision letter by:

  • phone using the number on the decision letter, or
  • post by completing the CRMR1 form.

Explain why you think their decision is wrong and send copies of any further evidence you’ve got if you think it will help your case.

When the DWP has looked at your decision again, they will send you two copies of a document called a mandatory reconsideration notice to let you know the outcome of the reconsideration.

Download the CRMR1 form and notes about how to disagree with a decision on

Find out more about asking for a mandatory reconsideration on the Citizens Advice website.

How to appeal

You can only appeal against a disability benefits decision when you’ve received a mandatory reconsideration notice.

To appeal you need to send the following to HM Courts & Tribunals Service (the address is on the form):

Find out more about appealing following a reconsideration on the Citizens Advice website.

Get expert help and advice

If you’re going ahead with an appeal it’s a good idea to get some expert help from the Citizens Advice Service or your local Law Centre, for example.

How to challenge a decision by your local authority

If you disagree with your local authority’s decision not to pay for your care or don’t think they’ve offered enough support to meet your needs, read our guide How to challenge your local authority over your care.

This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.

Links with an * by them are affiliate links which help Rest Less stay free to use as they can result in a payment or benefit to us. You can read more on how we make money here.

Get the latest ideas, advice and inspiration​

No spam. Just useful and interesting stuff, straight to your inbox. Covering finance, learning, jobs, volunteering, lifestyle and more.

By providing us your email address you agree to receive emails and communications from us and acknowledge that your personal data will be used in accordance with our Privacy Policy and Terms and Conditions. You can unsubscribe at any time by following the link in our emails.