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Submitting Your Appeal to the Tribunal

There are several different forms to choose from for an appeal to the tribunal. It will depend on the type of benefit in question.

APPEAL FORMS: You must fill in the correct appeal form for the dispute.

  • Social security benefits: Use form SSCS1
  • Child maintenance: Use SSCS2
  • Tax credits, Child Benefit, Guardian’s Allowance: Use form SSCS5
  • Compensation Recovery Scheme: Use form SSCS3
  • NHS charges under the Compensation Recovery Scheme: Use form SSCS4

Note: You can use appeal form SSCS1 for some benefit disputes (e.g. PIP). There are specific appeal forms for other types of benefits. Download any of the social security tribunal forms from HM Courts and Tribunal Service.

You must include an explanation of why you think the decision is wrong. Add any supporting evidence that you have (where applicable).

Send the filled in form and a copy of the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice (if you have it) to the address written on the form. You can appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal in a written letter if you prefer.

Appeal Time Limit

As a rule, it is best to appeal a benefit decision online. It must be within one month of either:

  • The date of the benefits decision that you are appealing.
  • The date stamped on the mandatory reconsideration notice (where applicable).

Making a Late Appeal

Late appeals must have an explanation attached for being late. Even so, some decisions allow an appeal deadline up to 13 months after the original decision date. Typical reasons for sending in a late appeal could be if you were:

  • Suffering with an illness or in a hospital.
  • Coping with a bereavement.
  • Unable to mail the appeal form (e.g. a postal strike).

Note: The tribunal will inform the other party if the appeal is late. The tribunal will decide whether the appeal can get heard if the other party objects to a late appeal.

If there will be a Hearing

If you choose to have a hearing you must then decide whether:

  • You want to attend the hearing so you can your case to a tribunal.
  • You want the appeal decided on your application form and any supporting documents you provided.

If you decide to attend a hearing you must confirm whether:

  • You have a representative to present your case at the hearing (e.g. through local library services).
  • You need to use an interpreter at the hearing or need any special arrangements (e.g. mobility issues or other health conditions).
  • There are any dates when you would be unable to attend the hearing.

Getting Help to Fill in the Appeal Form

There is a helpline you can call if you have any questions about the form. But, the helpline is unable to provide legal advice.

Benefit Appeals Helpline (England and Wales)
0300 123 1142
Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 5pm
List of mobile and landline call charges
Benefit Appeals Helpline (Scotland)
0141 354 8400
Monday to Friday: 8:30am to 5pm

The Next Step in the Appeals Process

The tribunal will send your application to the other party involved. This gives them an opportunity to respond. You will then receive their response – which you must take to your hearing.

You will then get a date for the hearing which can take up to six (6) months. In most cases, it will take place at one of the tribunals near to where you live.

Changing a Hearing Date

What if you cannot go to the hearing? If not, you must write a letter to the tribunal. Their address will be on your hearing letter.

They may try to change the hearing date if you cannot attend. The tribunal will decide if the date can change and let you know the outcome.

Withdrawing an Appeal

You do not need permission to withdraw your appeal before the hearing starts. But, once it has started, you will need to write to the tribunal to withdraw an appeal.

How to Submit an Appeal to the Tribunal: Filling in an Appeal Form