Benefit challenges and appeals

4. How to appeal

If you are not satisfied with the outcome of the mandatory reconsideration, you can then appeal within one month. To appeal, complete an appeal form, available from GOV.UK or the DWP.

You will need to include one copy of the mandatory reconsideration notice and return the form to the address at the bottom of the form.

If your appeal is about Employment and Support Allowance, Personal Independence Payment or Universal Credit, you can appeal online (GOV.UK).

If you try to appeal without going through the reconsideration process your appeal will be returned to you and you will be told to ask for a mandatory reconsideration.

Completing the appeal form

On the appeal form we would advise you to tick the box to request a hearing that you attend rather than being decided on the papers. Otherwise you will not get an opportunity to put your case before a tribunal. 

The form will ask if you are willing to accept less than 14 days' notice of a hearing. We would advise you to tick "No" to this question or it may be difficult for you to prepare for the hearing or make arrangements for someone to go with you.

Do not put the Welfare Rights Service down as your representative unless we have advised you to do so. If we agree to represent you at a later stage we can let them know about this. Usually we can not agree to represent until we have seen the appeal papers. Please be aware that we may review the appeal papers and then make a decision that we are unable to represent you, if this is the case we will explain this to you.

Appeal papers

On receipt of the appeal form the Tribunal Service will notify the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) that you have appealed. The DWP will then send out an appeal submission, which includes copies of all the forms you have completed in connection with your claim and other information (including medical evidence where relevant) which relate to your case.

Providing evidence

If you have not already done so, consider sending in evidence to support your case. You’ll be told where to send your evidence after you submit your appeal.

You do not need to re-send any evidence you already sent in at the Mandatory Reconsideration stage, unless you sent it too late to be considered or you know the DWP did not receive it. All the evidence sent in so far should be included in your appeal papers.

Send your evidence to the Tribunal Service as soon as you can. It is not a good idea to give it to the tribunal on the day, unless you have no choice. It may not be accepted, or the tribunal may not have time to read it properly. Try to keep a copy of anything you send.

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