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Last updated:
19/12/2017

How can I appeal a decision about my benefits?

The appeals process

  1. Overview
  2. The appeals process
  3. Preparing your appeal
  4. Setting out your argument in writing
  5. Making arrangements for the tribunal
  6. Going to the hearing
  7. Tips for representing yourself
  8. Can I appeal against my Rates relief or housing benefit decision?
  9. Sample letters for requesting evidence
  10. Next steps

To appeal a decision of the Social Security Agency (SSA) you must first ask for a mandatory reconsideration’ and receive a ‘mandatory reconsideration notice’ before you can appeal. This process applies to benefits such as:

Once you have your form, you have to appeal straight to the Appeals Service (TAS). This is called ‘direct lodgement’. The SSA will not send your appeal to the TAS. 

To make a direct lodgement you have to send the Appeals Service:

  • One copy of your Mandatory Reconsideration Notice, and
  • A letter requesting an appeal or appeal form NOA1 (SS).

You do not need a mandatory reconsideration notice to appeal a housing benefit decision. Housing Benefit is administered by the NI Housing Executive and housing benefit appeal should be submitted to them. Find out more about the Housing Benefit appeals.

Tax Credits and Child Benefit it is the form NOA1 (HMRC).

We recommend that you send the form rather than a letter. This will make sure you send the Appeals Service the information it needs for the appeal.

We recommend that you send the form rather than a letter. This will make sure you send the Appeals Service the information it needs for the appeal.

The form will ask if you want to have a paper or oral hearing. A paper hearing means that the tribunal will look at your case without you being there. An oral hearing means you have to go to a tribunal. You are more likely to be successful if you have an oral hearing. You should fill in the form and send it to:

Address: The Appeals Service (NI), PO Box 2202, Belfast, BT1 9YJ
Phone: 028 9054 4000

The Appeals Service will tell the SSA you are appealing. The SSA should respond within 28 days and should send you copy of their paperwork. 

You might get a lot of paperwork from SSA. Do not feel that you need to go through it all at once. Read through it at your own pace. You may have your tribunal hearing in a few weeks or months. It can be a long wait.

What are the time limits for filing an appeal?

You have 1 month to submit your appeal from the date on the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice.

If you miss the 1-month time limit because of special circumstances, you can ask the tribunal to accept your appeal late. For example, if you or your partner were seriously ill at the time, you may ask the tribunal to accept a late appeal. You must try to ask for this within 13 months of the original decision.

Within this subject

  1. Overview
  2. The appeals process
  3. Preparing your appeal
  4. Setting out your argument in writing
  5. Making arrangements for the tribunal
  6. Going to the hearing
  7. Tips for representing yourself
  8. Can I appeal against my Rates relief or housing benefit decision?
  9. Sample letters for requesting evidence
  10. Next steps

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