Independent Review Service
 for the Social Fund

Customer Service Team
The Customer Service Team will deal with all of your complaints and questions. We are happy to talk to you about the Inspectors’ decisions and our standard of service. Customer Service Team Inspectors must follow the same rules and laws as other IRS Inspectors, but they work separately from them. So they will not have been involved in the decision you have received.

You may wish to contact the Customer Service Team if:

You think the decision is wrong
You have a complaint about the service you received
You have an enquiry

How to contact the Customer Service Team

Our promise to you
The Customer Service Team will listen to what you say, and investigate any issues you raise.
  • They will let you know that they have received your complaint.
  • When possible they will send a full reply to you within 8 days. If they cannot do this, they will tell you what stage your complaint is at.
  • They will complete their investigations and reply in full within 15 days of receiving your complaint.
  • Sometimes, if they need to get more information, it may take up to 30 days to reply in full.
The Customer Service Team and the rest of the IRS are committed to giving equal service to all members of the public. This means we will deal with your complaint fairly and we will not treat you differently from anyone else.

You can also contact the Customer Service Team if you have a suggestion about our service. We welcome your suggestions, which help us improve standards.

If you think your decision is wrong
The Inspector's decision is normally the end of the review process. A decision is not necessarily wrong because you have not received a payment. But a Customer Service Team Inspector can reopen your case in the following circumstances:
  • Where some information was missing, or was not recorded correctly,
  • Where you think the rules have not been used correctly, or
  • Where there is extra evidence that the Inspector did not know about when he made his decision.

If you have a complaint about the service you have received
For example, you might think the process has taken too long, or that you have not been treated properly

Although your decision may not be affected by a complaint about our service, the Customer Service Team will investigate your concerns fully and apologise when we have got it wrong.

If you have an enquiry
You can contact the Customer Service team, if you have any enquires about your decision.

Any payment that is due to you following an Inspector's decision will be paid by your Jobcentre Plus office. Your papers are returned to the Jobcentre Plus office at the same time as the decision letter is sent to you. But the Jobcentre Plus office needs time to prepare payments, so they may not issue these on the same day that you receive your decision from the Independent Review Service. If there is a delay in you receiving your payment you may wish to contact your Jobcentre Plus office to ask when they will send the payment. If there is a significant delay in you receiving your payment you can also contact our Customer Service Team.

Further Action
If you are still not satisfied with your decision after the Customer Service Team has looked at it, you may be able to apply to the High Court to challenge it (known as a ‘judicial review’). If you are considering this, we advise you to get advice from solicitors, citizen’s advice bureaux or law centres.

How to contact the Customer Service Team

You can contact the Customer Service Team between 9:00 and 16:30 Monday to Friday in the way that suits you best:

Phone  By telephone on 0800 096 1928 (between 9:00 and 16:30) or fax on
0121 606 2184; or

PC  Send an e-mail to: [email protected]

Mail  You can write to the Customer Service Team at this address:

Customer Service Team
Independent Review Service
4th Floor, Centre City Podium
5 Hill Street Birmingham.
B5 4UB

Or, by completing the CST Enquiry Form below:

Alternative Services Available

Hearing Impaired  Deaf or hard of hearing customers who have a textphone can call us on 0800 096 1929 (between 9:00 and 16:30)

Visually Impaired  Visually impaired customers, who want a copy of our leaflets or decisions in Braille, on audiotape or large print can call us on 0800 096 1927 (between 9:00 and 16:30). Go to our Visually Impaired page for more information.

If English is not your first language, and you have difficulty in understanding the information about your review, we can send you copies of the most important documents in your own language. See our Translation Services page for more information.

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