The way to challenge a decision will depend on the benefit.
Challenging Best Start Foods and Job Start Payment
If you want Social Security Scotland to review their decision about either of these benefits, you should call them free on 0800 182 2222.
You can request a review by contacting the Text Relay Service: 18001 +0300 244 4000 for the hard of hearing.
If you're a British Sign Language user, use the Contact Scotland service to contact Social Security Scotland by video relay.
Challenging all other benefits
For all other benefits, there’s a two-stage process to challenge a decision:
- Stage 1 - re-determination
- Stage 2 - appeal
If you apply for an appeal without a previous re-determination request, your request for an appeal will not be accepted.
If you’re moving from Personal Independence Payment or Working Age Disability Living Allowance on to Adult Disability Payment and want information about challenging a decision, you should call Social Security Scotland free on 0800 182 2222.
You can request a re-determination or an appeal by contacting the Text Relay Service: 18001 +0300 244 4000 for the hard of hearing.
If you're a British Sign Language user, use the contactSCOTLAND app to contact Social Security Scotland by video relay.
Stage 1 - re-determination
The first stage is called a re-determination. A new team at Social Security Scotland:
- looks at your original benefit application and the information provided
- makes a new decision on the benefit you applied for
The new decision will cover things like whether you should get the payment, how much you should get, and from what date you should be paid.
The team who makes this new decision will not have been involved in making the original decision about whether you should get this benefit.
Social Security Scotland may tell you that you've been paid too much. You can challenge overpayment-related decisions, but how you do so will depend on the decision you’re given.
Social Security Scotland may tell you that you’ve been paid too much and that they want to recover this money from you by deducting money from your ongoing benefit payments. You will be able to request a re-determination to challenge this decision.
Social Security Scotland may tell you that you’ve been paid too much, but may or may not ask you to pay the money back. You will not be able to request a re-determination for this decision. Social Security Scotland will give you more information about how to challenge overpayment-related decisions like this in the letter telling you that you’ve been overpaid.
How long you have to request a re-determination
For most benefits, you must request a re-determination less than 31 calendar days after the date on your original decision letter. The only exceptions to this are Adult Disability Payment, Carer Support Payment, Child Disability Payment and Child Winter Heating Payment. You have 42 calendar days (6 weeks) to request a re-determination for these benefits.
Sometimes Social Security Scotland will accept re-determination requests made late if you provide a good reason and as long as you request it no more than one year after getting the decision letter. If you do not provide a good reason, Social Security Scotland may refuse your request.
When Social Security Scotland get your re-determination request, they’ll let you know they have it and how long they have to make a new decision.
Stage 2 - appeal
The second stage is called an appeal. You can request an appeal if you have received a re-determination (or Stage 1) decision and disagree with it. You can also appeal if Social Security Scotland do not make a re-determination decision in time.
Your appeal request will be sent to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland. They are totally independent from Social Security Scotland. They will look at your request and make a decision on your appeal.
How long you have to request an appeal
You can request an appeal within 31 calendar days of getting Social Security Scotland’s letter that tells you either:
- their re-determination decision
- that they’ve not been able to make their re-determination decision in time
If you request an appeal more than 31 calendar days after getting this letter, you should explain the reasons why you have not requested an appeal sooner. The First-tier Tribunal for Scotland will decide if they can accept your request.
Sometimes the First-tier Tribunal will accept appeal requests made late if you provide a good reason and as long as you request it no more than one year after getting the re-determination letter. If you do not provide a good reason, the First-tier Tribunal may refuse your request.
If you’re requesting an appeal because Social Security Scotland did not make a re-determination decision in time, your appeal request must be made no more than one year after you’re told that Social Security Scotland did not make a re-determination decision within the allowed time.
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