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Appeal to a Tribunal about a benefit decision

You can appeal a decision about a benefit you've applied for if you've first asked Social Security Scotland to look again at the decision. If you still do not agree with Social Security Scotland, or they tell you they're not able to make a final decision within 16 days, you can make an appeal.

Due to the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), Social Security Scotland now have 61 working days to make a final decision if your request was sent or after 7 April 2020. You can make an appeal if they're not able to make a final decision within 61 working days.

An appeal is when a decision about a benefit you've applied for is looked at again by the Social Security Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland. This Tribunal is not part of Social Security Scotland.

You might want to appeal because:

  • you have not received a benefit you think you should get
  • you do not agree with the amount you've been paid

To decide what should happen next, the Tribunal will look at all the details from your case and decide if you should get the benefit you applied for.

 You can only make an appeal to the Tribunal about:

  • Best Start Grant payments
  • Young Carer Grant
  • Funeral Support Payment
  • Carer's Allowance Supplement if you have a genuine and sufficient link to Scotland but live outside of the United Kingdom in the European Economic Area or Switzerland
  • Child Winter Heating Assistance

You cannot make an appeal for Best Start Foods or Job Support Payment. For all other benefits, you'll need to appeal using the UK appeals process.

How to appeal

You can let Social Security Scotland know that you want to appeal by:

  • calling 0800 182 2222 (freephone, 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday)
  • applying by paper form and returning the form to:
    Social Security Scotland
    PO Box 10303
    DD1 9FY

    You’ll also get this form with the letter telling you whether you’ll be paid the benefit.

When you asked Social Security Scotland to look again at their decision, they will have sent you a letter to let you know what they decided. You should appeal within 31 days of getting this letter. If you appeal after 31 days, you'll need to tell the Tribunal why in the form.

If you appeal after 31 days and your appeal is late because of coronavirus (COVID-19), you should tell the Tribunal this on the form.

You'll need to tell the Tribunal why you do not agree with what Social Security Scotland have decided about your benefit. If you do not tell the Tribunal, they may need more help from you before they can decide the outcome of your appeal.

After you start your appeal

Social Security Scotland have 7 days to send all the details about your case to the Tribunal. You'll get a letter to tell you when this has been done.

The Tribunal will also get in touch to let you know they have your appeal. Once they've checked it over, they'll let you know:

  • whether they can accept your appeal
  • if there's anything else they need from you
  • what options about a hearing are open to you

If you go to a Tribunal hearing

You'll have the chance to explain your point of view and answer questions about your case. You can do this:

  • in person
  • in advance if you do not attend

After the hearing you'll get a letter telling you the outcome of your appeal. If you do not attend the hearing, you will receive your outcome by post.

You can get more details on the appeals process and what you can expect at a hearing on

If you need help with your appeal form

You can call Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222 if you need help, or to request a new form. You can also get help from Citizens Advice Scotland.

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