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- Time limits
- Appealing to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland
- Being paid while you are challenging a disability benefit determination
- More information
If you're unhappy with a decision about child disability payment, adult disability payment or carer support payment you can challenge it by requesting a ‘redetermination’. This might be because you are refused the benefit, or because you have been awarded a disability benefit, but at a lower rate than expected, or because you have not been given one of the components.
A form to request a redetermination should be included with the letter from Social Security Scotland notifying you of the determination. You can ask for a redetermination by returning this form to SSS. You can also request the redetermination by phone.
You should request a redetermination within 42 days of the date of being notified of the determination (the decision you are unhappy with).
A late request, up to one year from the date you are notified, can be accepted if Social Security Scotland decides there is a good reason for it being late. If Social Security Scotland refuses to accept the late request, you can appeal to the First-tier Tribunal for Scotland.
Social Security Scotland also has a duty to make a redetermination within 56 days of receiving a valid redetermination request. If they cannot meet this time limit they must inform you of that, and that you have an immediate right of appeal to the First-tier Tribunal against the determination. You must appeal within 31 days of receiving notice that they have not met the time limit.
If your entitlement is redetermined within the 56 day time limit you should receive notice of this. You should also be told about your right to appeal. A form should be included to allow you to do this. The original determination may be changed or may be kept the same.
If you're still not happy with the decision you can appeal to the first-tier tribunal to have the decision looked at again independently of Social Security Scotland.
You must appeal within 31 days of being notified of the redetermination. You should send the appeal form to Social Security Scotland who will then forward this to the first-tier tribunal within seven days.
If you miss the time limit for appealing, you can still appeal within a maximum time limit of one year if you have good reasons for the late appeal. If your appeal is late you must explain why so that the First-tier Tribunal can decide if you have good reasons for a late appeal.
While you are waiting on the outcome of a redetermination or appeal about child disability payment or adult disability payment, you might be able to get short-term assistance. You will not get it automatically – you have to claim it.
You can get short-term assistance if
- you were previously entitled to child disability payment or adult disability payment, and
- there has been a determination which has reduced or ended that award, and
- that determination is being looked at again, either by Social Security Scotland because you have requested a redetermination and are waiting for the decision, or you have appealed to the First-tier Tribunal and are waiting for an outcome.
The amount of short-term assistance will be the difference between
- the amount of child disability payment or adult disability payment paid under the previous determination, and
- the amount paid under the new determination.
The date that short-term assistance ends depends on the outcome of your request for redetermination. Once the new decision is issued the short-term assistance will end. If the award has not been changed back to the previous level, and you appeal, the short-term assistance can be put in place again until the appeal is decided.
The short-term assistance payments do not need to be repaid even if the challenge is unsuccessful. If the challenge results in the award being put back to the original level, the short-term assistance will be deducted from any money owed to you.
Learn more by having a look at CPAG in Scotland's free eLearning on Scottish benefit appeals.
For in-depth information about challenging Scottish benefit decisions, read chapter 81 of the Welfare benefits and tax credits handbook. You'll need a subscription to be able to log in and read the content.