Housing Benefit appeals

Tribunal hearings

The tribunal is independent of the council. It's normally made up of one Judge sitting alone, with a clerk to deal with administration issues.

Housing benefit tribunal hearings for Newcastle-under-Lyme are normally held at Stoke on Trent Tribunal Hearing Centre, Bennett House, Town Rd, Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent ST1 2QB.

If you've moved address and no longer live in Newcastle-under-Lyme you can request a hearing at a venue in the area you now live.

Types of hearings

Oral Hearing

  • you can attend
  • you can take somebody along as a representative, or for moral support
  • an officer from the council will also normally attend
  • a judge will usually ask the council officer for an outline of the decision under appeal and the reasons
  • the judge may ask you or the officer from the council some questions
  • the judge can make a decision on the day of the hearing or at a later date

Paper Hearing

  • you do not have to attend
  • if the judge thinks that it would be helpful for you to attend a hearing in person then he may refuse the request for a paper hearing
  • during a paper hearing the judge will look at the council’s response and any additional evidence you may have
  • the judge will make a decision based on the information provided by you and ourselves
  • a copy of the judge's decision will be sent to you and us

If you choose an oral hearing but find you cannot go, you must let the Tribunal Service know straight away. You must have a good reason why you cannot go, such as illness. You may be able to arrange another date.

Please note: if you do not let the Tribunal Service know you cannot go to the hearing, the tribunal may hear your appeal without you.

Oral hearings are usually open to the public, but anyone who goes to the hearing will usually be involved in the appeal. You can ask to have your appeal heard in private.

The Tribunal result

The tribunal decision notice will tell you if your appeal has been successful or if the decision made by us has been upheld. If your appeal is successful, we'll usually put the decision right as soon as we receive our copy of the Tribunal's decision.

If you disagree with the tribunal decision then a statement of reasons can be requested. This must be done within one month of the date the judge made the decision. A statement of reasons will give a full explanation of how the judge reached the decision.

If you still disagree with the decision, after reading the statement of reasons, you can ask for the case to be referred to an Upper Tribunal. This is done by asking the Tribunal Service for 'leave to appeal to Upper Tribunal'.

We can also ask for a statement of reasons and for leave to appeal to the Upper Tribunal if we disagree with a decision made by the tribunal judge.