Appeal a benefit decision

What happens at the hearing

Submit any evidence as soon as possible before the hearing so the tribunal have time to read it. Evidence will usually be shared with all parties, including your representative (if you’re using one).

A judge and one or two experts will make a decision about the case. Who the experts are depends on what benefit you’re appealing. The judge and experts are impartial and independent of government.

If you attend the hearing

You’ll have to the opportunity to explain your appeal.

You’ll be asked questions about your condition or circumstances by the judge or the experts.

The department that made the original decision may also be at the hearing. They may ask questions, but they’re not part of the tribunal and do not decide the result of the appeal.

You can get support during the hearing, for example an interpreter, hearing loop or accessible tribunal room. You can request support when you make an appeal.

You cannot use your own interpreter during the hearing.

Claiming expenses

You may be able to claim for reasonable expenses for going to the tribunal, for example:

  • travel expenses to cover your fare if you get there using public transport
  • travel expenses of 12p per mile if you drive, plus 2p per mile for up to 2 passengers
  • meals - £4.25 if you’re away for more than 5 hours, £9.30 for more than 10 hours or £13.55 for more than 12 hours
  • loss of earnings - £38.96 if you’re away from work for up to 4 hours or £75.59 for 4 hours or more
  • care expenses up to the National Minimum Wage, for example for a childminder

The clerk will help you fill in a claim form when you go to the hearing.

You’ll need to include proof, for example:

  • receipts
  • a letter from your employer for loss of earnings