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Challenging WINZ Decisions

Challenging WINZ Decisions

There are things you can do if WINZ makes a decision about your benefit that you think is incorrect. If you challenge a decision, there are processes that WINZ has to follow to have the original decision reviewed. If you still disagree with the reviewed decision, there may also be an option of appealing the decision, possibly in court.

This section talks briefly about how challenging WINZ decisions work.

What should I do if I don’t agree with a WINZ decision?

If WINZ makes a decision that you don’t understand or you don’t agree with, the first step is to talk to your case manager about it. They may be able to explain the decision to you or possibly you could convince them to change it. If this doesn’t work, and you still don’t agree with the decision that was made, there are further steps you can take to challenge the decision.

How do I challenge a WINZ decision?

You need to write to the Benefits Review Committee and ask for a review. The easiest way to do this is to fill in a ‘Review of Decision Application’ form, and send it to your local WINZ office. You need to apply for a review of a decision within 3 months of the decision being made. If the Benefits Review Committee gets your application any later than this, then they can decide whether they will review the decision or not.

What happens in the WINZ decision review?

First, WINZ will process your application for review. If they agree with your application, they’ll ask you to come into their offices to complete some forms so that the original arrangements can be changed. If they decide that the original decision doesn’t need to be changed, your review application will automatically be passed on to the Benefits Review Committee.

The Committee has a hearing, which lasts around 40 minutes. You’re allowed to go and answer any of their questions or give them information. You probably won’t find out about the final decision for another few weeks after the hearing. The Committee has to give you written notice of their decision and reasons. If you aren’t happy with the decision, you can appeal to the Social Security Appeal Authority.

For more information, please read the community law manual.

What is the Social Security Appeal Authority?

If you’ve received a review by the Benefits Review Committee and you’re not pleased with the decision, you can appeal to the Social Security Appeal Authority. You have to give a written notice of appeal to the Authority within 3 months of the Review Committee’s decision. WINZ will have to send you all their documents that relate to the decision and their reasons for making the decision. You have the right to respond to anything in WINZ’s report and to give your own evidence.

For more information on the Social Security Appeal Authority and on challenging WINZ decisions, please read the community law manual.

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