Challenging a Personal Independence Payment (PIP) Decision - Appeal to Tribunal

You may be able to have a decision about Personal Independence Payment (PIP) changed.

Last reviewed 04 February 2022

Appeal to Tribunal

This page explains when and how to appeal to Tribunal, and gives some tips for Personal Independence Payment (PIP) appeals. For what happens after you have started your appeal, read our First Tier Tribunal Appeals Process guide

Appealing to Tribunal is the second step of challenging a PIP decision. It is asking an independent tribunal, called the First Tier Tribunal, to look at the decision. You can normally only appeal after you have got a Mandatory Reconsideration Notice.

The Mandatory Reconsideration Notice is a letter which tells you if the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) changed the original decision or it is still the same, and why. If you disagree with the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice, you can appeal to a Tribunal. The Tribunal is separate to the DWP. 

Beware that if you challenge a decision, it can be changed to make the PIP award lower or shorter. If you’re not sure whether you should challenge a decision, you can:

Time limits

You normally have to start an appeal to Tribunal within one month of the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice date (the date on the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice letter).

You may be able to appeal later if:

  • You started your appeal as soon as possible, and
  • The decision date was less than 13 months ago, and
  • You have a good reason for being late.

Examples of a good reason for being late:

  • You were given wrong information about your appeal by an adviser
  • Your partner or relative has been very ill and you had to care for them a lot
  • You have been very mentally or physically unwell and you were unable to appeal before now
  • You have had problems getting post at your address.

Appeal to Tribunal

Start your appeal

You can start your appeal by filling in an appeal form. Make sure you complete all of the form, including the grounds of appeal.

In England, Wales and Scotland, use the SSCS1 appeal form or the online form on the website. In Northern Ireland, use the NOA1(SS) appeal form

For grounds of appeal, tell the Tribunal:

  • Which decision you are challenging
  • What you think the right decision was
  • Why you disagree with the DWP’s decision, for example:
    • How many points you think you should have scored for each activity
    • What you think the DWP did not take into account about how your disability affects you
    • Give examples of things the DWP should have considered

For your choice of hearing, you can choose between going to a hearing yourself or having your appeal decided on the papers (without you there). It is usually better to attend a hearing. 

For help filling in the form, you can:

Get documents

You might want to get documents to put with your appeal form.  

You don’t have to put papers with your appeal form. However, the more evidence you give of how your disability affects your everyday life, the easier it will be for the Tribunal to know whether the DWP’s decision was right or wrong.

For which documents to get, read the Get documents page of our Claiming PIP guide. It is a good idea to keep a copy of everything that you send.

Send your appeal form in time even if you are waiting for documents. You can always send the documents in later, when you have them.

Send appeal form

Before you send your appeal form, check that you have answered all the questions and that you have signed the appeal form. Put one copy of your Mandatory Reconsideration Notice with the appeal form.

Send the appeal form, the Mandatory Reconsideration Notice and any other documents to the address on the form.

Once you have sent your appeal form, do not send any more documents until your appeal has been received by the Tribunal Service (or The Appeals Service in Northern Ireland) and you get your appeal reference number. 

Tips for next steps

When you get the papers from the DWP, if you can, read the medical assessment report and note anything you disagree with. It is good to read the rest of the papers too but the medical assessment report is usually the most important.

You can take someone with you to the Tribunal. This can be a friend, someone who looks after you or an adviser to represent you. To look for advisers near you, use our Find an Adviser tool

For what happens after you have started your appeal, read our First Tier Tribunal Appeals Process guide


Printable version of this guide

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