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Seeking a hearing at a tribunal

Seeking a hearing at a tribunal

SKU: 2.24
  • Advice

    If you disagree with a Universal Credit decision after the mandatory reconsideration, you can apply to have your case heard at a tribunal. This will be headed by a judge who is separate from the Department of Work and Pensions. They will listen to your side of the story and decide accordingly.


    Challenging a decision

    You should first check your letter from the DWP about mandatory reconsideration. It will state why they have not changed their decision. You can appeal the decision if:

    • You were paid the wrong amount;
    • You have been incorrectly refused Universal Credit; or
    • You were wrongly sanctioned.

    You usually have one month from the date of the decision to apply to a tribunal; however, this can be extended up to 13 months under exceptional circumstances.


    How to Apply

    There are two pathways for appealing a decision. You can submit an appeal either online or submit it through an SSCS1 form. If you have received a response detailing why they chose this stance and disagree then you should consider appealing the decision. When you appeal ensure that you include any evidence that may not have been submitted in the mandatory reconsideration notice. If you wish, you can appoint a representative to help you with your appeal. 

    At this point, we would ask you to consider the merits of instructing ourselves to prepare your evidence and submit the appeal on your behalf. We appreciate that this is a charged service; however, the financial loss of not receiving U.C could be far more significant. If you decide to appeal without representation, you should send the appeal documents to the HMCTS Appeals Centre. You should get a response within four weeks. Please note that it can take up to 6 months to hear an appeal at a tribunal.


    The hearing

    It is not uncommon to receive the panel's decision on the same day. It is, therefore, heavily recommended that you attend the hearing and make your case. This allows you the opportunity to answer any of their questions. You would be allowed to be accompanied by a friend/relative of a professional advisor, should you start a case then we would be delighted to be appointed in such a role.


    Claiming expenses

    Receipts of evidence will be needed, but you may be able to claim for reasonable expenses, for example:

    • Reimbursement of public transport costs;
    • Fuel allowance of 12p/mile;
    • Meals - £4.25 if you're away for more than 5 hours’, £9.30 for more than 10 hour’s or £13.55 for more than 12 hours’;
    • Loss of earnings; and
    • Carer expenses, for example, a childminder.


    Tracking your appeal

    You can track your appeal online. This is to keep you updated on your case. If you appeal by post, you can ask HM Courts and Tribunal Service for regular updates on your case. You can find contact them at HM Courts and Tribunal Service, Telephone: 0300 123 1142 (Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5 pm) or email:

    If you need help submitting an appeal:

    Benefit appeals helpline (England and Wales)

    Telephone: 0300 123 1142

    Monday to Friday, 8 am to 6 pm

    Saturday, 8 am to 2 pm



    Benefit appeals helpline (for Welsh speakers)

    Telephone: 0300 303 5170

    Monday to Friday, 8.30 am to 5 pm


    Benefit appeals helpline (Scotland)

    Telephone: 0300 790 6234

    Monday to Friday, 8:30 am to 5 pm



    Receiving a decision

    You will receive a decision at the hearing. If you do not attend the hearing, you can expect to receive a decision through the post. If you disagree with this decision, you can apply for your case to be heard at an upper tribunal, however, they will only look at appeals where there has been a legal flaw in the judgment.


    How we can help

    Lestons can prepare papers for you and, if requested may also be able to attend to physically assist at a hearing. To gain our assistance simply create a case using the link at the top of this page you will then need to deposit a sum equal to one hour’s usage, we appreciate that finding these funds may be difficult but we do try to keep our costs as low as possible. Upon receipt of these funds, you will be assigned your personal caseworker who will telephone you to discuss the matter and make suggestions on how to proceed.

    Please note your caseworker can only give generic advice, their role is to prepare your details for handling by our legal team and to act as your point of contact, they will also issue you with your Password and PIN, these will be needed to log onto your client dashboard. From your dashboard you will be able to manage and view every aspect of your case, upload documents, images, files etc.

Click hear to book your

free initial consultation:

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