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Complaints about your benefits claim - When can I make a complaint?

This guide explains how to complain about your benefit claim - and when you should use a different process to get the outcome you want

When can I make a complaint?

You have the right to expect a reasonable standard of service from the people dealing with your benefit claim. Service includes things such as meeting target times for dealing with claims and providing interpretation facilities. 

Most government departments that deal with benefits, including your local authority, will have a charter or standards of service that sets out and what you can expect. You will be able to get this from their offices or websites.

You can make a complaint if, for example:

  • You have received poor service
  • You have been disadvantaged because of their mistakes or a slow response
  • They have discriminated against you

You can complain whether or not you have made a claim for benefits. However, if you have claimed a benefit and you think a decision is wrong, you will not be able to change the decision by making a complaint. You will have to challenge the benefit decision as well.

Applies: England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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