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Late benefit appeals

This advice applies to Scotland

Before you can make an appeal against your benefit decision you must ask for a reconsideration. A DWP decision maker will look at your claim again and decide whether to change the decision or keep it the same. They call this a mandatory reconsideration.

If you're not happy with the outcome of the reconsideration you have one month in which to make an appeal to HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMTCS).

If you miss the one month-time limit to appeal you can sometimes make a late appeal. This page tells you more about how to do this.

This page does not cover appealing decisions made about Scottish benefits paid by Social Security Scotland. 

If you want to appeal a decision made by Social Security Scotland, you should appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber). Find out more about appealing a Scottish benefit decision.

Top tips

Try to keep to the one month time limit if at all possible. It can be difficult to dispute a decision if you miss the time limit. If you are late, make sure you explain the reasons in as much detail as you can.

Making a late appeal

If you miss the one-month time limit to appeal against the outcome of a reconsideration decision, don’t give up. If you ask for an appeal within 13 months of the date the decision was sent to you, it can sometimes be accepted.

Give as much information as you can to say why your appeal application is late. Make sure you say how important it is for the decision to be changed. This might be because:

  • you will lose a lot of money if the decision is not changed
  • you have good reasons for being late
  • there are special circumstances that mean it would be fair for your appeal to be heard.

What happens when you make a late appeal?

HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMTCS) will ask the DWP if they object to the appeal being accepted late. If they don't object, the appeal will be accepted unless the tribunal think that there are reasons not to do so. For example, if the tribunal think that you can’t win the appeal they may decide not to accept it late.

If the DWP object to your appeal being accepted late, the tribunal will look at it and decide if it is fair and just to accept it.

If it is accepted late, HMCTS will deal with your appeal. They will write to you to tell you what will happen next. You will be sent a form asking you for more information. This will ask you if:

  • you want to go to the appeal hearing
  • you want to bring witnesses
  • you will need an interpreter
  • there are any dates you can’t attend a hearing.

The DWP will be told you have appealed and will prepare their response. This will give their reasons for the decision, a copy of your claim form and any other letters and forms you have filled in. They will also say what law they have used to make the decision.

If you're too late to appeal

If you've missed the deadline for making a late appeal and you discover that the decision was wrong, you can ask the DWP for an anytime revision of your benefit decision.

Next steps

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