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Last updated:
19/10/2018

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

To appeal a decision of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) you must first ask for a mandatory reconsideration. This process applies to benefits such as:

Once you have your form, you have to appeal straight to the tribunal service. This is called ‘direct lodgement’. The DWP will not send your appeal to the tribunal. 

 To make a direct lodgement you have to send the tribunal:

  • One copy of your Mandatory Reconsideration Notice, and
  • A letter or appeal form requesting an appeal

For most benefit appeals the form is a SSCS1 but for Tax Credits and Child Benefit it is an SSCS5

We recommend that you send the form rather than a letter. This will make sure you send the tribunal 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 tribunal 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: HMCTS, SSCS Appeals Centre, P.O Box 1203, Bradford BD1 9WP

The tribunal will tell the DWP you are appealing. The DWP should respond within 28 days and should send you copy of their paperwork.  

You might get a lot of paperwork from DWP. 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.

Also, if the DWP do not change their decision at the end of the mandatory reconsideration then you can appeal to the tribunal. 

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.

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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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