Review of a decision
If we’ve made a decision that you don’t understand or agree with, you can ask for a formal review.
You need to ask for a review within 3 months of the decision being made. After that time a review will happen only if there’s a very good reason for the delay.
What you need to do
Talk to your case manager
They'll explain why the decision was made and can put things right if there's been a mistake. We may be able to resolve things without you having to go through a formal review.
Ask for a formal review
If you're still unhappy with the outcome, you can apply for a Review of Decision.
If you disagree with a decision made on medical grounds, eg your eligibility for a benefit based on your health condition or your capacity to work, you need to ask for a review of a medical decision
Who can apply for a Review of Decision
- You as the person applying for a benefit
Your advocate or agent (who has signed permission to act on your behalf)
How to apply for a Review of Decision
You need to tell us the date you heard about the decision, what the decision was about and why you disagree with it. There are several ways you can do this:
- complete a Review of Decision Application Form
- submit your enquiry online
- post a letter to your nearest service centre.
You don't have to use legal language.
We'll look again at the information you gave us, which we based our decision on, to see if we missed anything or made a mistake which means the outcome should be different.
We may call you if we have any questions or need more information.
The outcome of the internal review
We'll write to tell you whether the decision has been overturned or upheld. We aim to write to you within 2 weeks of receiving your request for a review.
Decision is overturned
You'll be asked to sign some forms to put the new arrangement in place. The review process stops here.
Decision is upheld
If we believe we made the right decision in the first place, we'll send a report to the Benefits Review Committee asking it to take a fresh look at your case.
Benefits Review Committee hearing
The Benefits Review Committee is made up of 2 people from the Ministry of Social Development who weren't involved in the decision being reviewed, and 1 other person appointed by the Minister for Social Development.
The Committee will contact you to set a date for a hearing, so it can look at your case and make a decision on what happens next.
The hearing is an informal meeting which takes about 40 minutes. We encourage you to attend so you can answer any questions or provide more information.
You can bring a support person, advocate or lawyer with you. Or you can send a lawyer in your place.
Benefits Review Committee report
You'll get a report from the Committee letting you know what the final outcome is. This will be sent to you about 10 working days after the hearing.
If the Committee agrees with you and the decision needs to be overturned, the service centre you've been dealing with will put things right.
What if you still disagree?
If you disagree with the Benefits Review Committee decision, you can appeal to the Social Security Appeal Authority. The authority is made up of people who work for the Ministry of Justice.
The report you receive from the Benefits Review Committee will tell you how to lodge an appeal, or you can call 04 462 6660.