Challenging a decision about PIP or other benefits
If you do not agree with the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) decision about your claim for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) or other benefit, you can appeal.
With government figures showing that more than half of those that appeal to a tribunal have their Personal Independence Payment (PIP) decision changed, you should always consider appealing if you have a benefit claim rejected.
Stages of appeal
There can be up to 3 stages of appeal, depending on how far you want to go in challenging the DWP’s decision.
These stages are:
- mandatory reconsideration
- a tribunal appeal and hearing
- further appeals
Warning Missing the deadline
If you miss the 1-month deadline, you can still ask the DWP to reconsider, as long as it’s within 13 months of the date on your decision letter.
You must have a good reason for missing the deadline. Reasons include:
- you were given wrong information by a benefits adviser
- you were caring for an ill partner or relative
- you’ve been mentally or physically unwell
If the DWP still do not change their decision after a mandatory reconsideration, you can appeal to an independent panel called a tribunal (Citizens Advice).
An appeal can be complicated and challenging so do not be afraid to ask for emotional or practical help from relatives, friends, a support worker or health professional.
When appealing to a tribunal you will need:
You have 1 month from the date shown on your Mandatory Reconsideration Notice to submit your claim.
Warning Sending your documents
You must send your completed SSCS1 form and Mandatory Reconsideration Notice to HM Courts and Tribunals Service, not to the DWP.
Send these documents by registered post so you have a record of when you sent them. You’ll find the address for HM Courts and Tribunals Service on the SSCS1 form.
After they have received and checked your forms, the HM Courts and Tribunals Service will ask the DWP to respond within 28 days.
The tribunal hearing
After the DWP has responded, the HM Courts and Tribunals Service will tell you:
- the DWP’s response
- what happens next
- details about your hearing, including waiting times
You can ask for a written hearing or you can attend in person. If you choose to attend, you’ll get 14 days notice of when and where your hearing will take place.
Attending in person can help with your claim as the experts sitting on the tribunal panel can ask you questions.
The meeting place should be accessible for you and you can take someone with you for support
Challenging a PIP decision - the tribunal hearing (Citizens Advice).
Last reviewed by Scope on: 13/03/2019