Appeals reform: an introduction

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Great Britain. Department for Work and Pensions.
Date of publication
1 August 2013
Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion, Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

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This information pack introduces the changes in the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) appeals process .The appeals process is changing in 2013 so that more disputes against DWP decisions can be resolved without the need for referral to Her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service (HMCTS). DWP is committed to preventing disputes, reducing the escalation of disputes, resolving disputes and learning from disputes. From April 2013 DWP began to introduce changes which were part of the Welfare Reform Act 2012.

There are 3 changes:

  • DWP will reconsider all decisions before an appeal. This change will mean that if someone disputes a decision, they will need to ask DWP to reconsider the decision before they can appeal to HMCTS. This is known as “mandatory reconsideration”.
  • Appeals to be made directly to HMCTS. This change will mean that, after DWP has reconsidered a decision, if someone still disputes the decision and wishes to appeal, they must send their appeal directly to HMCTS. This is known as “direct lodgement”.
  • Time limits for DWP to return responses to HMCTS. DWP has agreed with the Tribunal Procedure Committee to introduce time limits to stipulate how long DWP has to respond to an individual appeal.

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