Requesting an appeal Personal Independence Payment

You can download a copy of the SSCS1 appeal form from the government website

 www.gov. uk/social-security-child-support-tribunal/appealtribunal (England, Scotland and Wales only).

Alternatively, call your local HMCTS and ask for an appeal form to be sent to you by post.

HMCTS CONTACT INFORMATION 

England and Wales: 0300 123 1142 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm)

Scotland: 0141 354 8400 (Monday to Friday, 8.30am to 5pm)

Northern Ireland: 0300 200 7812

In Northern Ireland, use appeal form NOA1(SS), which you can download from:

www.nidirect.gov. uk/publications/appeals-form-noa1ss

The forms will ask for your name, address and, if you have one, details of your chosen representative.

Your representative is someone who can speak about your condition at the tribunal. You do not have to have a representative. It may be that you are representing yourself. If this is the case you can bring along a friend or relative to support you.

There is a section where you can share why you feel you have grounds to appeal.

You will be asked the decision date, name of benefit and the outcome. This information can all be found on your mandatory reconsideration notice.

The next section will ask you to state why you feel the decision is incorrect.

Explain in your own words why you feel the decision is wrong. If possible, link back to any medical evidence you have provided to the DWP.

For example: ‘the report stated I could chop vegetables but my consultant letter stated I have a very weak grip and am unable to hold a knife safely’.

You will be asked if you wish to attend the hearing. There is no pressure to attend and it is completely down to you, but it can be helpful for the tribunal panel if you do go along.

If you choose not to or are unable to attend the tribunal, a decision will be made using the evidence you submit.

Make a copy of the form and return it to HMCTS at the address on the form. A copy of the mandatory reconsideration notice also needs to be included.

Once the tribunal service or HMCTS has received the form, you will receive an acknowledgement in the post. HMCTS will then send a letter to DWP informing them of your appeal.

The DWP will write to the HMCTS outlining why they made the decision they did. This will include your original application form and their assessment report. A copy will also be sent to you and, if you have one, your representative.

Your local MP may be able to offer you support, so do let them know your situation and why you are appealing.

You can find your MP here:

www.parliament.uk/get-involved/contact-your-mp

WAITING FOR THE HEARING

It can take some time to have your appeal heard. We know this wait can be stressful for many people.

The length of time depends on where you live and how busy your local service is.

It’s important that you let HMCTS know of any upcoming appointments or holidays you have booked. It can be quite time-consuming to get an appeal date moved so it’s good to avoid this if you can.

While you’re waiting for your hearing date to come through, think about any additional people you could approach who could provide additional evidence. You can send information through up until two weeks before the hearing date.

THE HEARING

If you have opted to attend the hearing you will receive a date in the post. Don’t worry; the independent tribunal is not like attending a formal court. The venue should be accessible and the clerk of the court will be there to assist you.

If you need support from a carer or family member, they can also attend the tribunal hearing. Please ensure that you arrive promptly and allow additional time to pass through security.

You can bring notes to help you remember everything. It can be helpful to read through the information and highlight key things you want to ensure you get across in the hearing.

Karan, who has Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, went to a hearing.

“The date of my hearing arrived and I attended the magistrate’s court. “The clerk was there to help me. She talked me through the process and told me whom everyone was. There was a lady there who was to do with my daily living, and a judge and a doctor. 

“All of these people are completely independent. They are there to make their own minds up based on the information they have been given. They will all ask you questions about how your disability affects you daily.

“The DWP were there. They only asked me one question. I was also able to share my experience of living with this condition. We were then asked to leave the room whilst a decision was made.

This took around five to 10 minutes. We were called back in to receive their decision which I am happy to say went in my favour.”

The tribunal panel is usually made up of three independent people.

A solicitor will lead the tribunal. There will be a person with a medical background and a lay person who has some experience of disability. All will introduce themselves to you and your representative.

The DWP can send a presenting officer to put forward their position and challenge the points that you have made in the appeal document. This is standard practice and should not be anything to worry about.

The panel will then ask a series of questions based on what you have put on your form and any additional supporting information you have provided them with.

Take your time and don’t feel rushed – this is your chance to explain to them how your condition affects you. If you need to pause or take a moment for a drink of water, this is perfectly acceptable and most definitely understandable.

If a DWP presenting officer is there, they will have an opportunity to ask you a few questions. If you have chosen to have a representative, they will also have an opportunity to raise anything they feel may have been missed and challenge any points made by the DWP.

You will be then be asked to leave the room for the tribunal panel to discuss your case. You will either be informed that day of their decision or very soon after your hearing. You will receive a copy of the decision notice and a copy will be sent to the DWP.

If the outcome is in your favour, then the DWP will make the necessary changes and you will start to receive your award. Within a few weeks of the decision being changed, you will also receive any back payment, backdated from the date you made the claim.

If your appeal is unsuccessful, you can request (in writing) a detailed explanation of why this is.