First Tier Tribunal appeals process - Oral hearing procedure

If you appeal against a benefit or tax credit decision a First Tier Tribunal will deal with your appeal. This guide goes through the process of what happens after your appeal is received.

Oral hearing procedure

An oral hearing means that you and your representative (if you have one) can attend, or your representative can attend the hearing without you.

On the day of the hearing there is likely to be more than one case being heard and each is heard in turn.

The people on the tribunal panel will already have seen all the information and evidence about your case that has been sent to them.

When your case is heard you or your representative will be given a chance to explain in your own words why you think the decision is wrong. The benefit or tax credit office representative will also be able to explain how they came to their decision.

The tribunal panel can ask you questions about your case. If you have questions for the benefit or tax credit office representative you can ask these as well.

When the tribunal panel think they have all the information they need, they will ask you if you want to say anything else to support your case.

They will then ask you to leave the room so they can consider all the evidence and make their decision.
You may be told the final decision there and then.  Following the hearing you will then receive the decision in writing within one month.


If you ask for an oral hearing and neither you nor your representative attend, the tribunal may dismiss your appeal.


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