How to Appeal
Social Work Services can offer advice on how to appeal and free representation at your appeal from a specialist team of welfare rights officers. If you want to be represented by a welfare rights officer then you should fill in a mandate form at your local social work office. If you have already lodged an appeal but not yet arranged representation you should make arrangements as soon as possible. If you wait until you get the date of your appeal we will be unable to represent you on that day. It may be possible to ask for the appeal to be heard on another day but this cannot be guaranteed. Appeal hearings can be quite complicated and your chances of success will be better if you are represented.
Please click here for Glasgow City Council's Welfare Rights Online Appeal form.
Department of Work and Pensions decisions
If you are unhappy about a benefit decision you should appeal within one month to the office that issued the decision. If you make an appointment at your local social work office please bring a copy of the decision with you. You can then get help to write a letter of appeal. Some benefits require you to ask for a revision before, or instead of, appealing. Social work staff can advise you about this. It is worth noting that the appeal process can take several months. If your circumstances change during this time you must make a new claim as these changes cannot be taken into account at the appeal hearing. At some point prior to your appeal you will be sent a form asking you if you want an oral hearing of your appeal. It is important to answer yes to this question, and to state that you wish to be represented by a welfare rights officer from social work, so that you can attend the hearing and be represented. You should also note any holidays or hospital appointments that you have outstanding.
Housing and Council Tax Benefit decisions
The Housing and Council Tax Benefit decision process has changed and you now have the right to appeal decisions to an independent appeal tribunal. If you are unhappy about a Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit decision you should appeal within one month to the office that issued the decision. If you make an appointment at your local social work office please bring a copy of the decision with you. You can then get help to write a letter of appeal.
Medical evidence and other information
You may wish to obtain medical evidence or provide a tribunal with other documentation relevant to your appeal. If you wish to have this included in your appeal it is best to pass it to your representative first. If you wish to obtain further medical evidence on your appeal then your representative may be able to advise you of a local solicitor who could assist you with the process.
Social Security Commissioners
If your appeal is unsuccessful you may be able to appeal further to the Social Security Commissioner. Appeals to the Commissioner can only be made where the tribunal has not applied the law properly, not just because you disagree with the decision. Your appeal representative will advise you about this.
For all benefit decisions it is possible to appeal further through the courts. A welfare rights officer can advise you when this is appropriate. Welfare rights officers cannot represent you in court but if you are on income support, or have a low income, you may be able to get legal aid to employ a solicitor to take things further for you.
Remember challenging benefit decisions is complicated and it is best to seek advice as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about benefits, a GAIN Welfare Rights Adviser can help you. Click here to find your nearest GAIN agency or call the GAIN Helpline on 0808 801 1011 Mon- Fri 10am to 8pm and Saturday 10am to 2pm. Calls are free from land-lines and some mobile numbers.
Glasgow City Council Social Work Services