How to ask for an appeal

You need to use the form SSCS1 to ask for an appeal.  You can download the form from the HMCTS website: SSCS1 - Benefit and Child Support appeal form

You must include a copy of the mandatory reconsideration decision with your appeal. You need to tick the box to confirm that you are including it in Section 1 of the form.

In section 2, give your name, contact details, date of birth and National Insurance number and include the date of the decision you are appealing (this is the date on the letter they sent you). If you are informally helping the claimant with their appeal, you put their details in this section, but if you have been appointed to formally look after their benefits you put your name here and their details in section 3.

If you do have an adviser who can help and represent you, put their details in Section 4. (If you havent, don't worry. The most important thing is that you go to the hearing. Nobody knows more about how your illness or disability affects you than you do.)

In section 5 you have to explain why their decision is wrong. You need to give them as much detail as you can. It might be easiest to use the letter created by our PIP Mandatory Reconsideration Request Letter Tool. If you have already used it and had the letter sent to your email, go to the email and copy and paste it on to a fresh document.  If you havent, you might find it helpful to do that now. 

     Remove the phrase Mandatory Reconsideration Request at the top and replace it with Grounds for appeal

     Read it through, and add in anything you can think of that is missing. 

     Print it out and send it with the form. On the form just write See attached

You also need to confirm if your appeal is within the time limit or not. If it isnt, explain why the delay was unavoidable or a result of your disability (for example, if you were unable to deal with it until now because you need help to deal with your post or you were particularly unwell). 

In section 6 you have to choose whether you want to attend a hearing or whether you want the case to be decided on the papers alone. Almost everybody wants to choose the paper hearing - because it seems less scary. However, you are much more likely to win if you go and speak to them face-to-face. It gives them a chance to meet you and see and hear for themselves how your disability affects you, and gives them the chance to ask questions. Dont worry, the hearing wont be nearly as frightening as you might think. 

Section 7 asks about your needs for the hearing. First it asks if there are any times in the next 6 months that you wont be available to go to the hearing. Its probably best to keep this simple  only tell them about times when you know you will be away or in hospital or recovering from something. It is probably best not to ask them to avoid dates that you can re-schedule easily.

Question 2 asks about your needs for the hearing. This might include hearing loops, any special transport to get you there, or if you need the building to be accessible in a wheelchair.

Question 3 asks if you need a signer or interpreter at the hearing. If you can sometimes cope, but sometimes need help, ask for help. It is very important that you can say everything you want to say, and can understand everything that is said, at the hearing. Tell them what type of support you need. 

Question 4 asks if you are you willing to be given a date for the hearing at short notice. You should get at least 14 days notice of the hearing, unless you agree to accept less. It is up to you whether you do this. If you say that you do not need 14 days notice, make sure you get all the evidence you need ASAP. 

Make sure you sign and date the form in Section 8.

Send the form to HM Courts and Tribunals Service (the address is on the last page of the form). If you can, keep a photocopy.

What next?

The HMCTS will send a copy of your appeal to the DWP and ask them to explain how they came to their decision. The DWP must do this within 28 days, although they can ask for an extension. You will receive a copy of their response. Dont be put off by the size of it. Keep it safe. You will need it to prepare for your hearing. 

You should start preparing now.  The next section explains everything you need to do.

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