Le Mans Crescent

The welfare rights service

We have a small team of experienced advisers who deal with complex benefit problems and can represent you in benefits appeals. The team cover a whole host of benefits; from income support to pension credit - if you're unsure whether we can help, get in touch. The service is free and confidential.

For more information click below...

  • How we can help

    • We can help if you have a problem with benefits; such as:
      » Your claim has been stopped or sanctioned
      » Your claim has been refused
      » You have been asked to pay money back 
      » You have been found fit for work 

      We can help by:
      » Signposting you to other sources of help and information
      » Asking benefit offices to explain their decisions
      » Explaining the law
      » Preparing your case
      » Representing you at an appeal tribunal 

  • Challenging your decision

    • If you don’t agree with your benefit decision, there are ways we can help you challenge the decision. 

      For most benefits it is a two stage process:
      » Ask the DWP or the Revenue to look again at their decision. This is called a Mandatory   Reconsideration.
      » Appeal the Mandatory Reconsideration to an independent tribunal

      Housing Benefit and Council Tax Support decisions have slightly different rules, but we can still help you. There may be other benefits you could claim whilst you challenge your decision – if you need advice get in touch. 

    • Mandatory Decision

      » When you get a decision, you have one month to contact the DWP to ask them to look at it again. You can do this by phone, or in writing.The contact details will be on the letter your receive.
      You must explain why you think the decision is wrong and include any evidence you have to support this.

      » The time limit for requesting a mandatory reconsideration can be extended by 14 days if you ask for written reasons for the decision and your decision letter does not already include the written reasons.

      » The rules for challenging tax credit decisions are slightly different. You must put your request in writing and you have 30 days to get the request to HMRC.

      If you do not manage to challenge the decision in time, seek advice from us now.

      » There are no set guidelines as to how long it should take for the Mandatory Reconsideration to be carried out, but there is no reason why it should take too long.

      » Your original decision will be looked at again and you should get a ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’ (sometimes known as a ‘written statement of reasons’) telling you whether the decision has been changed.

      » You can appeal to the tribunal if you’re still not satisfied - you must do this within one month of the date of your mandatory reconsideration


    • Appeal

      You cannot appeal until you have the written decision following the Mandatory Reconsideration. You then have another month from the date on the letter to send in an appeal form direct to the Tribunals Service.

      The tribunal is independent of government. A judge will listen to both sides of the argument before making a decision.

      The forms can be found at www.gov.uk

      Bolton Welfare Rights has a team of experienced Welfare Rights Officers who can assist you with your appeal and advise you through the appeal process. They can also help present your case and represent you at the tribunal hearing. 

  • Requesting our help

    • If you would like assistance from Bolton Council's Welfare Rights service in challenging or appealing a Benefits decision, the person who has/is claiming the benefit must reside in Bolton.

      Also, please be aware there is no right to an independent appeal for budget loans, crisis loans or community care grants.

      Get help with an appeal

  • Other sources of information and help

    • For an overview of benefits information (including tax credits)  visit www.gov.uk or www.citizensadvice.org.uk

      You can use one of the online benefit calculators to check your entitlement to benefits at www.gov.uk

      You may be able to get free and confidential advice from Civil Legal advice as part of legal aid, visit www.gov.uk

      Advice is also available in BSL through the Royal Association for Deaf People - you will need a webcam and broadband connection.

  • Macmillan Benefits Advice Service

    • The Macmillan Benefits Advice Service offers confidential and comprehensive benefits advice for people affected by cancer.
      If you, or someone close to you has been diagnosed with cancer, money might not be one of the first things you think about. But having cancer can be expensive. We are here to help.

      »  The Macmillan Benefits adviser can assess entitlement to benefits and can help you claims the benefits to which you may be entitled.

      »  To access this service, contact the Macmillan Cancer Information & Support Service on 01204 663059 or email boltoncancerinfo@nhs.net 



Welfare Rights Service

Town Hall

Victoria Square



Telephone 01204 333820
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