BEFORE YOU APPEAL: There are several different methods of making an appeal. It will depend on which decision you disagree with.
This guide is for disagreements about welfare benefits. It also covers child maintenance appeal and those made for tax credits.
But, before you make an appeal, you must ask for a decision to get looked at again. This is a process called ‘mandatory reconsideration‘.
As a rule, the reconsideration must take place within one (1) month of any benefit decision. It applies to almost all benefits, child maintenance (child support) and tax credits.
Note: Generally, you must ask for mandatory reconsideration within the time limit to be able to appeal to the tribunal. Use a different process to appeal a benefits decision in Northern Ireland
There is a time limit to make an appeal after getting a mandatory reconsideration decision. In most cases, you should have appealed to the tribunal within one month afterwards.
Appealing a Decision on Housing Benefit
Mandatory reconsideration is not needed if you are appealing a Housing Benefit decision. You should make the appeal to the council that made the original decision instead.
Free Help and Advice
The Citizens Advice can help you appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal. Contact them if you need help filling in forms or attending a hearing.
Note: Someone else can appeal on your behalf if you choose. It can be a legal adviser (e.g. a lawyer), a family member, or a friend.
Asking for a Mandatory Reconsideration
You must follow the full social security appeals tribunal process. In most cases that means you must ask for a mandatory reconsideration.
There may be other steps to follow before you appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal. The type of decision you are appealing determines the specific procedure.
Note: The Social Security tribunal rules of procedure function independent of government. It will be a court judge listening to both sides of the argument. The judge will then make a final decision.
ALSO IN THIS SECTION
Appeal to the Tribunal
There are several different forms to choose from when you appeal to the tribunal. It will depend on the type of benefit in question. The section explains:
- How to submit an appeal (online or by post)
- How to get help with your appeal
- How to contact the Benefit Appeals Helpline
At the Hearing
You will need your appeal papers and any documents used as evidence at the hearing. The tribunal may share any evidence you give with all parties. Find out:
- What happens after submitting an appeal
- What happens at the hearing and how to claim expenses
- How long the hearing process takes to complete
Decision at the Tribunal
The Social Security tribunal decision follows the hearing. There are other steps you can take if you still disagree with the tribunal’s decision.
Note: The short video [1:19 seconds] explains what to do if you disagree with a decision given by HM Revenue and Customs (e.g. after a DWP compliance check).