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Communtity Law Manual | Work & Income | Complaining to the Ombudsman about benefit decisions

Challenging Work and Income decisions: Reviews and appeals

Complaining to the Ombudsman about benefit decisions

What kinds of Work and Income decisions can I take to the Ombudsman?

Ombudsman Act 1975, s 13

The Ombudsman investigate complaints from members of the public about the decisions or conduct of government bodies and officials.

The Ombudsman usually can’t investigate Work and Income decisions about whether you’re entitled to a benefit or other payment, whether to pay you an advance, or whether you’ve been overpaid, because you can take those decisions to a Benefit Review Committee and, if necessary, the Social Security Appeal Authority.

However, the Ombudsman can investigate complaints about the service provided by Work and Income staff, for example:

  • delays in processing your application for a benefit, advance or other payment
  • delays in responding to your letters
  • the standard of service you received from your case manager
  • your phone calls not being returned
  • delays in arranging an appointment for you.

For how to complain to the Ombudsman, see “Challenging decisions and conduct of government agencies” in the chapter “Dealing with government agencies”.

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