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Last updated:
06/11/2017

How can I appeal a decision about my benefits?

Preparing your appeal

  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 council tax support or housing benefit decision?
  9. Sample letters for requesting evidence
  10. Next steps

Seeing a welfare advisor

Who can help me with my appeal hearing?

You can get help with your appeal from a specialist welfare rights adviser at your local Law Centre, Citizens Advice Bureau, independent advice agency or your local authority’s welfare rights service, if they have one.

You can usually find details of local services in the telephone book, Yellow Pages or on the Internet.

What if I have to represent myself?

If you can’t find a local organisation to help with an appeal, you will have to represent yourself at the hearing. Appealing and representing yourself may sound overwhelming but it’s actually quite common practice.   

 

The tribunal system is set up so that people can represent themselves, and people do this every day.

The tribunal system is set up so that people can represent themselves, and people do this every day. It’s best just to be prepared and understand the process by reading through this information to help your chances of success.

If you feel you would still like some support, you can also ask a friend or family member to help you prepare.

Getting supporting evidence

Always try to get evidence for your appeal. You can send evidence with your appeal form, but don’t worry if you can’t get the evidence in time. You can send it after you've sent the form. You can give evidence to the tribunal on the day of the hearing, but it is best to send it before. If you have a lot of evidence on the day the tribunal panel will need time to read it, and this could delay the hearing.

The tribunal will not contact your GP, psychiatrist or any other medical professional to ask for evidence. You need to speak to them yourself and ask them for evidence. You can ask them for a letter or report that backs up your claim. Be aware that some medical professionals will charge you for a letter or report. If you can’t afford this, or it would be difficult to pay then make this clear to the medical professional.

There are some sample letters you can use for submitting evidence for your appeal at the end of this section.

If a carer or relative has information about your condition they can also send this to the tribunal before the hearing. Remember, to make copies of the medical evidence and bring it with you to the tribunal, just in case anything is missing on the day.

Remember, to make copies of the medical evidence and bring it with you to the tribunal, just in case anything is missing on the day.

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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 council tax support or housing benefit decision?
  9. Sample letters for requesting evidence
  10. Next steps
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