Skip to navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Appealing to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber)

This advice applies to Scotland

Who can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) 

You can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) about:

Appealing about a re-determination decision or lack of a decision in time by Social Security Scotland

You can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) if:

  • you were refused a Best Start Grant payment by Social Security Scotland and have asked for the decision to be reviewed. This review is called a re-determination. You have been refused again after the re-determination.
  • Social Security Scotland have not looked at your request for a re-determination within the time limit of 16 days that it had to reply to your request.

How to appeal about a refusal of grant after a re-determination 

You can ask for an appeal when you receive the letter from Social Security Scotland letting you know that after a re-determination you are being refused the benefit again.

You should include any information or evidence with your appeal that supports your case if it was not available before.

In some cases you may have asked for a review of the amount of the grant. You can appeal if Social Security Scotland has looked again at the decision it made and has decided not to change the amount payable to you.

You can appeal by:

  • completing the appeal form you will have received with the re-determination letter or
  • phoning Social Security Scotland and completing the form over the telephone.

You have 31 days from receiving the decision letter to make an appeal. Social Security Scotland assumes that it takes 48 hours for its letter to reach you.

First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Social Security Chamber)
Glasgow Tribunals Centre
20 York Place
Glasgow
G2 8GT

Telephone: 0141 302 5858
Email: sscadmin@scotcourtstribunals.gov.uk
Website: www.socialsecuritychamber.scot

How to appeal when Social Security Scotland has not looked at your request for a re-determination within the time limit

Social Security Scotland has 16 days to reply to your request for a re-determination about its original decision following your application for benefit. If it fails to reply to you within 16 working days you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber).

When you receive a letter from Social Security Scotland telling you it has failed to reply in time you will also receive an appeal form to allow you to make your appeal.

You can appeal by:

  • completing the appeal form you will have received with the re-determination letter and sending it back in a pre-paid envelope or
  • phoning Social Security Scotland and completing the form over the telephone.

You have 31 days from receiving the decision letter to make an appeal. Social Security Scotland assumes that it takes 48 hours for its letter to reach you.

First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Social Security Chamber)
Glasgow Tribunals Centre
20 York Place
Glasgow
G2 8GT

Telephone: 0141 302 5858
Email: sscadmin@scotcourtstribunals.gov.uk
Website: www.socialsecuritychamber.scot

Appealing because Social Security Scotland has refused your request for a re-determination 

Social Security Scotland may have turned down your request for a re-determination because:

  • you didn't ask for the re-determination within 31 days of being notified about the decision about your benefits and you didn't have a good reason for it being late 
  • your request for a re-determination did not include the correct information.

In both of these situations you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber). These appeals are called 'process' appeals and you have to use a particular form to make your appeal. The form is available on the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) website .

You have 31 days to appeal from receipt of the letter from Social Security Scotland informing you that your request for a re-determination has not been accepted.

You can download the form and complete it on your own computer then send it as an attachment by email to the Social Security Chamber. Alternatively you can print the form, complete it in black ink and post it to the address at the top of the form. You should make a copy and keep it for your own records.

First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Social Security Chamber)
Glasgow Tribunals Centre
20 York Place
Glasgow
G2 8GT

Telephone: 0141 302 5858
Email: sscadmin@scotcourtstribunals.gov.uk
Website: www.socialsecuritychamber.scot

What happens if you miss the 31 day limit for appealing against the decision made after your request for a re-determination

Once you have received your decision from Social Security Scotland about your request for a re-determination you have 31 days to appeal about this re-determination. If you make an appeal after the 31 days but within a year of the re-determination you may still be able to have the appeal if you have a good reason for missing the 31 day deadline.

You can use the appeal form you received with the re-determination letter from Social Security Scotland. You should include an explanation of the reason for the appeal being late. Social Security Scotland can't make a decision about a late appeal but a decision about this will be made by the First-tier Tribunal.

You would have to make this appeal to the First-tier Tribunal. Social Security Scotland will pass your form and any other documentation to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber).

First-tier Tribunal refuses to hear the appeal because it is late

The First-tier Tribunal can refuse to hear your case or deal with it if it is later than the 31 day time limit for making an appeal. You can provide a reason for it being late but if it is not a 'good enough' reason the appeal won't be heard.

A 'good enough' reason may be that you were unwell in hospital and were unable to make the appeal on time.

If you are acting on behalf of someone making a claim for a payment

In certain circumstances someone might have to act on behalf of the person applying for a Best Start Grant payment.

You can continue to act on their behalf if an appeal has to be made to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber).

Read more about acting for someone else.

You want help with your appeal 

You are allowed to get the help of a representative or a supporter to make your case. They can also attend a hearing with you.

Anyone can be a representative, including friends and family if you think they can provide support and act for you. 

Read more about getting someone to represent or help you at the tribunal.

You can't get legal aid to help to pay for someone to represent you at a tribunal. You might be able to get a type of legal aid, called advice and assistance, to pay for a solicitor to help to prepare your case.

Read more about legal aid and help with legal costs.

What happens after the appeal has been submitted 

Your appeal is sent to the department in Social Security Scotland that made the decision about your claim for the Best Start Grant payment.

A copy of its decision is sent to the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) and you.

The tribunal then decides how to handle the case based on the circumstances. In most cases the decision is made by a judge alone.

The tribunal could make a decision about your case at a case management discussion or might decide to have a tribunal hearing.

If a hearing is to be held you may want to send additional evidence for your claim. You can send any papers to the postal address below. You can also email any papers.

First-tier Tribunal for Scotland (Social Security Chamber)
Glasgow Tribunals Centre
20 York Place
Glasgow
G2 8GT

Telephone: 0141 302 5858
Email: sscadmin@scotcourtstribunals.gov.uk
Website: www.socialsecuritychamber.scot

Tribunal hearings

Most tribunal hearings are in public but you can ask for one to be held in private. If you want to have a private hearing you should get advice from a local Citizens Advice Bureau about what argument to put to the tribunal about your request for it to be private.

Public or private hearing

The main reasons for deciding to have a private hearing rather than a public one is if there are issues of:

  • public order, for example, other ongoing legal matters may mean that the application for help has become public and it is controversial
  • someone’s right to have privacy for family life
  • information having to be kept confidential
  • a public hearing could cause serious harm to the public interest or prejudice the interests of justice.

If you have a special reason for the hearing to be held in private you should write to the tribunal before the hearing, explaining why you are making this request. It will be the tribunal’s decision whether to grant your request.

Special support at the hearing

You may need special support to attend and take part at the hearing. You can ask for any special support required, for example a hearing loop to be available or an interpreter. You cannot bring a friend to interpret for you. The interpreter has to be from a recognised translation service and will be paid for by the tribunal service.

Procedure at the tribunal hearing

A tribunal may reach a decision based on only the papers presented to it by the parties involved. In most cases those involved are likely to be you, your representative, if you have one, and staff of Social Security Scotland.

You may want to go to the tribunal hearing and put forward your case.

The hearing will start with a legally qualified member of the Social Security Chamber, called the convener, introducing the case.

Both you and Social Security Scotland can explain what the appeal is about. You may be asked questions. The convener may also question Social Security Scotland.

The outcome of the appeal will be decided by the convener. In most cases reasons will be given for the decision.

How to claim expenses

Expenses may be claimed for all of the following:

  • travel – for the cost of transport to the tribunal
  • subsistence – for the extra cost of meals that you buy while attending the tribunal
  • loss of earnings or other benefits
  • childminding fees – if there are extra costs for childminding or babysitting
  • adult carer allowance – for the extra cost of caring for a dependant adult
  • other expenses – you may be entitled to claim for any other unusual expenses.

There is detailed guidance available about claiming expenses on the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) website.

Challenging the decision of the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber)

Review of a decision

There is a process in place to ask for a review of the decision made at the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber). A review usually looks at any apparent administrative errors or requests to review a point of law. 

A request for a review must be made within 14 days of the decision being made or notified to you.

While the tribunal is considering the review the time limit for making an appeal is stalled. 

Appealing against a decision made by the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber)

If you want to appeal against a decision made by the First-tier Tribunal (Social Security Chamber) you will have to ask for permission to do so.

You will also have to identify which points in law you want to appeal about.

You have to ask in writing for permission to appeal and you have to indicate what outcome you want. 

You have to ask for permission to appeal within 30 days of the decision being made by the First-tier Tribunal.

If you miss the 30 day time limit you will have to include a request for an extension to the time limit and an explanation of why the request is late, for example, perhaps you were in hospital.

Next steps

Did this advice help?
Why wasn't this advice helpful?
Did this advice help?

Thank you, your feedback has been submitted.