You can appeal a decision about your entitlement to benefits, for example Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) and Universal Credit.

Appeals are decided by the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal who are supported by HM Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS). The tribunal is impartial and independent of government.

The tribunal will listen to both sides before making a decision.

This guide is also available in Welsh (Cymraeg).

Before you appeal

You must usually ask for the decision about your benefits to be looked at again before you can appeal - this is called ‘mandatory reconsideration’.

If you do not need to do this, your decision letter will say that you can appeal straight away. The letter will explain why you do not need a mandatory reconsideration - include this when you submit your appeal. 

How to appeal

It’s free to appeal a benefit decision.

Appeal to the tribunal within one month of getting your mandatory reconsideration decision. If you start your appeal after a month you’ll have to explain why you did not do it earlier. Your appeal might not be accepted. 

After you submit your appeal, you can manage your appeal online and provide evidence to the tribunal. Your appeal will be decided at a tribunal hearing.

Benefit decisions you can appeal

You can appeal a decision about:

  • 30 hours free childcare scheme
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Bereavement Support Payment
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Benefit
  • Child Support or Child Maintenance
  • Compensation Recovery Unit
  • Contracted Out Employment Group
  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA)
  • Disability Working Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA)
  • Funeral Expenses Payment
  • Guardian’s Allowance
  • Health in Pregnancy Grant
  • Home Responsibilities Protection
  • Incapacity Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Industrial Death Benefit
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Maternity Allowance
  • National Insurance credits
  • Pension Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment (PIP)
  • Retirement Pension
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • Sure Start Maternity Grant
  • Tax credits
  • Tax-Free Childcare
  • Universal Credit
  • Winter Fuel Payment
  • Vaccine Damage Payment

Check any letters you’ve received about your benefit if you do not know the exact name.

Get help and advice

You can get free help and advice from: 

You can also seek advice from a legal adviser or solicitor.

  1. Step 1 Find support and advice

  2. Step 2 Ask for mandatory reconsideration

    1. Ask for the benefits decision to be looked at again (mandatory reconsideration)

    You normally need to do this within one month of the date on your decision letter.

  3. Step 3 Appeal the decision to a tribunal

    If you’re unhappy with the decision after mandatory reconsideration, you can appeal it to a tribunal.

    1. You are currently viewing: Appeal to the Social Security and Child Support Tribunal
  4. Step 4 Ask for the tribunal's decision to be 'set aside' (cancelled)

    If you disagree with the decision, you can ask for it to be set aside (cancelled). The decision letter from the tribunal will tell you how to do this.

  5. or Appeal the tribunal's decision

    If you think the decision was wrong for a legal reason, you can appeal to the Upper Tribunal.

    1. Appeal to the Upper Tribunal (Administrative Appeals Chamber)