Appeal to a Tribunal about a benefit decision

Last updated: 21 October 2019
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.

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.

At the moment, you can only make an appeal to the Tribunal about Best Start Grant payments, Young Carer Grant or the Funeral Support Payment. You cannot make an appeal for Best Start Foods. 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:

  • filling in the 'Appealing a decision' form - you should already have been sent this form by Social Security Scotland
  • calling 0800 182 2222 to make your request over the phone

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.

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.