In this section:

Appealing against a Child Benefit decision

Find out what to do if you're not happy with a Child Benefit decision and the steps to take before making an appeal.

On this page:

Decisions made before 6 April 2014

If the decision you're unhappy with is dated before 6 April 2014 you need to follow the guidance on the National Archives website.

Appealing against a Child Benefit decision on National Archives (Opens new window)

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Before you appeal - first step

If you're unhappy it's worth discussing the decision with the Child Benefit Office. They'll give you an explanation of the decision, or if they find the decision is wrong, they'll change it for you.

If you want to speak to someone about a Child Benefit decision, call the Child Benefit Helpline.

Contact details for the Child Benefit Helpline

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Next step - reconsideration

If you're still unhappy you can make a formal request to have the decision looked at again. This is known as a reconsideration - or 'mandatory reconsideration'.

When can you ask for a reconsideration?

The letter that the Child Benefit Office sends you about their decision tells you if you can ask for a reconsideration.

You can't, for example, ask for a reconsideration of the day of the week your Child Benefit is paid on. But you can ask for the date your benefit is awarded from to be reconsidered.

Even if you can't ask for a reconsideration, you can still ask the Child Benefit Office for an explanation of their decision.

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Who can ask for a reconsideration?

This is usually the person who claims the Child Benefit.

You can ask an independent adviser to do it as long as you have given written authority for them to act on your behalf.

If you're an appointee and claim Child Benefit for someone else, you can make the request for them.

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How to ask for a reconsideration

To ask for a reconsideration you can:

  • call the Child Benefit Helpline
  • send the Child Benefit Office a completed form CH24A
  • send the Child Benefit Office a letter

You must say what you think is wrong.

Download form CH24A 'What to do if you think our decision is wrong' (PDF 215K)

You will need to send your completed form or letter to:

Child Benefit Office
PO Box 1
Newcastle upon Tyne
NE88 1AA

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Deadline for reconsiderations

Normally, you have to make your request within one month of when the Child Benefit Office sent you their decision. In special cases they'll give you more time but you must tell them your reason for being late.

The Child Benefit Office can't accept your reconsideration if you ask for it 13 months or more after they sent their decision.

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What happens next?

If the Child Benefit Office hasn't already done so, they'll check that the decision is correct and explain it.

You’ll receive two copies of a 'mandatory reconsideration notice'. This will explain the law and the facts the Child Benefit Office used to make their decision.

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Appeals

If you're still unhappy you will need to appeal to an independent tribunal. The mandatory reconsideration notice the Child Benefit Office sent you will tell you how.

The tribunal will be run by one of the following, depending on where you live:

  • for England, Scotland and Wales - HM Courts & Tribunals Service
  • for Northern Ireland - the Appeals Service Northern Ireland

If you want to know what happens after you've sent your appeal to the tribunal you can get more information from the relevant websites. To do this, follow the links below.

More about the Tribunals Service on the justice website (Opens new window)

More about Appeals Service Northern Ireland on nidirect (Opens new window)

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If your circumstance change

If anything changes that could affect your payments, you must let the Child Benefit Office know straight away.

Find out which Child Benefit changes you need to report

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