How to challenge a benefit decision
What are the benefit appeal rules?
Please note the existing appeal and dispute rules still apply to Housing Benefit.
The Appeal Process
- You receive a written decision about your benefits from the DWP or HMRC.
- If you are unhappy with this decision you can ask for a ‘mandatory reconsideration’.
- The DWP looks at their decision again.
- The DWP will telephone your to explain and discuss their decision.
- You may submit further evidence now or later (the sooner the better).
- You will receive a detailed mandatory reconsideration notice letter, including how to appeal.
- If you are unhappy with this decision, you have one month to send in the form ‘SSCS1’ directly to the court and tribunal service. You must also enclose the DWP mandatory reconsideration letter with your form.
You can get the form ‘SSCS1’ form from the DWP, an advice agency or on Gov.uk
- If the appeal contains further evidence the DWP will be asked to reconsider its decision.
- The tribunal service will write to you and you must reply.
- You can to attend a hearing if there one is needed. You will be told of the date.
If your mandatory reconsideration or appeal is made outside the allowed time, it may be accepted if there are reasonable circumstances. The DWP can also consider what’s called an ‘any time revision’ request if certain grounds are shown. Seek advice if necessary.
If you want to make a complaint about delays and other administrative aspects of your benefit, there is a procedure and form.
Where can I get advice on making an appeal?
There are a range of benefit advice services available across Newcastle. Read the ‘Where to get benefit advice‘ booklet.
- Citizens Advice Newcastle (CAN) provide advice to anyone in Newcastle. Citizens Advice also have information on Challenging a decision or Appeals.
- Newcastle Welfare Rights Service provide advice to people in priority groups including those over 65. They have self help material on their website.
- Newcastle Student Law Office at Northumbria University offers a free legal service to people with a range of legal issues including benefits appeals.
- Disability North give disability related benefit advice, help with appeals and representation at tribunals
Other Useful Information
For more information on the appeals process visit:
Last updated: November 3, 2020