Below is a basic description of the steps for appealing PIP decisions. Please note that when you appeal a PIP decision then the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) can review the entire award at the Mandatory Reconsideration Stage. In addition, the tribunal can review the entire award which means that if you appeal a decision then it is possible that you can end up with a lesser award or no award, depending upon your case. Any decision to appeal should be based upon consideration of the possible descriptors that you may be eligible for and the probability of evidencing that this is the case.
Receive a decision
If you are unhappy with the DWP's decision and believe it is incorrect, you should apply for a mandatory consideration.
You have 30 days from the date on the decision letter to request a mandatory consideration.
(You only have one month from the date of the decision to request reconsideration)
You can ask for a reconsideration over the phone, but you should confirm your request in writing.
When you ask for the decision to be reconsidered, you should explain why you think the decision is wrong. If you can, get evidence to back up your argument.
Reconsideration takes 2-6 weeks.
Mandatory Reconsideration Notice
Once a decision has been reconsidered, the decision maker will send you two copies of a 'mandatory reconsideration notice' to let you know the outcome. You will need the extra copy of the notice if you wish to appeal.
You have 30 days from the date you receive the mandatory reconsideration notice to make
Appealing a Decision
If you are unhappy with the result of the mandatory reconsideration, you can make an appeal.
Your appeal must normally reach the HMCTS within one calendar month of the date that the mandatory reconsideration notice was sent to you.
Appeals are made on the SSC1 form
The HMCTS will send a copy of your appeal to the DWP and ask them to provide a 'response' to explain how they came to their decision. The DWP must do this within 28 days.
You must be given 14 days' notice of the time and place of the appeal hearing. The appeal tribunal will be made up of a judge, a doctor and a disability expert.
The judge will ask you questions about the issues related to your appeal. You should be given the opportunity to explain your case.
To find out how long it will take for you to be able to attend a tribunal hearing after you have lodged your appeal, telephone 0300 123 1142 and tell them which tribunal centre you will be attending.
You will get a decision notice on the day of the hearing or soon after.
If the appeal is unsuccessful, you can ask for 'statement of reasons' which will explain the decision. You have one month from the date of the tribunal decision in which to do this.
If you disagree with the decision, you may be able to appeal further to an 'Upper Tribunal'. You can only do this if the tribunal has made a legal error. See the appeals factsheet for more information.
Collecting Evidence for a Tribunal Hearing
It is up to you to bring forward evidence that supports your claim. It is important to remember that you are not being asked about your condition as it currently is, but your condition as it was when you made your claim. This means you should be prepared to talk about how your health was at that time.
Some of the written evidence which the Tribunal will consider in the hearing:
Your original PIP questionnaire i.e. PIP2 form
The medical assessment report completed by the doctor or Health Care professional as part of the PIP Assessment.
Reports requested by the DWP from any other medical source (a G.P, Consultant or Specialist you may have seen recently)
Familiarise yourself with these documents before your tribunal hearing so you can answer any questions the Tribunal Members may have about them.
The oral evidence you give in the tribunal is very important. Before the tribunal you should identify which activities (descriptors) apply to you (see a full list of the descriptors here). Identify the level of difficulties you have with these activities. Think about whether you can perform the tasks safely, to an acceptable standard, repeatedly and within reasonable time. Make a note of the activities (descriptors) that you feel you satisfy and why. You can send this to the Tribunal Service before you attend the tribunal. Keep a copy of this for yourself so that you can refer to it during the tribunal hearing.
If possible, review the answers you made in your PIP2 form. Try to make sure there aren't any inconsistencies with your oral evidence or be prepared to talk about why what you wrote in the PIP2 form might not have properly represented your situation.
You should back up your oral evidence with medical evidence.
Ask your doctor, consultant, physiotherapist or other health care professional who knows about your condition to write a supporting letter. Please be aware, you may be charged for this.
It is important that your evidence does not just state what condition you have and the treatment you receive. It needs to deal with what how it affects your ability to carry out day-to-day activities.
Make a note of all the medication you were taking at the time of your claim