Sometimes even the government can get it wrong. If you want to understand or question the results of your application, below are three options.

An email template I can use myself
Help me question the outcome of my application
Tell me about discretionary benefits

Email template

Please find below a draft email template you can send to any department to get a full and free explanation of any decision relating to you. Work and Income must respond within 20 working days. If you have a case manager, please send the email to that person. If you don’t have a case manager, please send the email to

To whom it may concern,

I am writing to invoke my right to a full and free explanation under Section 23 of the Official Information Act, regarding a decision made about me.

My name is ___ and I am referring to the result of my application for benefits dated ___ where I applied for ___. The result of my application was ___ and I would like an explanation of this decision. Please provide to me, within a reasonable time, a written explanation of this decision including the findings on material issues of fact, a reference to the information on which the findings were based, and the reasons for the decision or recommendation, including the pertinent legislative references.

Kind regards,

<Your name>

Next steps

If you receive a response that says you’re not eligible, please contact a support organisation such as the Citizens Advice Bureau to see what you can do next. 

You may also like to read CAB’s article on getting a decision reviewed.