Social Security benefit complaints

Social Security offices are run by the Department for Communities (DfC). Find out how to complain about the service you’ve received or mistakes that have been made.

This page is only for benefit complaints. To appeal a benefits decision, visit Appealing against a benefits decision.

Stage one

Contact the Benefits Officer dealing with your case or the Office Manager with your complaint.

When you complain by phone, you will be:

  • asked questions to confirm your identity
  • asked about benefits you are receiving or have claimed
  • asked to detail your complaint
  • advised by a member of staff what will happen next with your complaint or where to get more information if you want it

If you complain in writing, include:

  • your name and contact details
  • details of what happened, when, any reference numbers or relevant information
  • if you'd like your complaint settled in writing or by telephone

DfC aims to respond within 10 working days.

Stage two

If you are unhappy with the response you can write to the Senior Manager. DfC will give you the Senior Manager’s name and address in the response to your original complaint.

Stage three

If you are unhappy with the response from the Senior Manager, you can write to the Deputy Secretary, or email or phone DfC customer services.

Deputy Secretary
9th floor
Causeway Exchange
1 - 7 Bedford Street
Belfast
BT2 7EG

Email: customerservice.unit@communities-ni.gov.uk
Phone: 028 9051 5100

Stage four

If you are unhappy with the final decision from the Deputy Secretary, you can contact the Independent Case Examiner.

Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman

Whilst it is not part of DfC’s complaints procedure, you can pass your complaint to the Northern Ireland Public Services Ombudsman when you have exhausted the internal complaints process.

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