When the judge thinks he or she has got all the information they need, they will (normally) ask you if you have anything to add. If they don’t, make a note of this. Once they are satisfied that there is nothing more anyone wants to say they’ll ask you (and everyone else) to leave the room. If there is someone from the Jobcentre Plus they will have to leave too: they can’t have a quiet word with the tribunal behind your back.
Normally, you’ll get a decision the same day. You’ll wait outside for about fifteen minutes, and then be called back in by the clerk. You’ll hardly have sat down when the judge will tell you whether your appeal has been allowed (you’ve won), been refused (you’ve lost), or been adjourned (they haven’t been able to reach a decision and another hearing will need to be arranged). They’ll then give you a sheet of paper with the decision on it (the decision notice) and that’s it.
Sometimes they won’t be able to make a decision the same day. In that case you should get the decision notice in the post in the next few days.
If you’ve won…Congratulations!
A copy of the decision notice will also be sent to the office that made the decision you were appealing against. In theory they could try to challenge the decision of the tribunal, if they thought that the tribunal had made a legal error, but in practice this is only likely to happen if yours was an unusual case. If they did not send anyone to the hearing it is very unlikely that they will try to challenge it.
If they don’t think that there is any legal error in the tribunal’s decision they have no choice: they have to implement the decision, which means putting you back in the position you would have been in if the right decision had been made in the first place. Depending on the case, this might mean getting increased ongoing benefits, getting payments of arrears, or getting an overpayment cancelled.
This might take a few weeks. If you’re still waiting after about a month you should contact the Jobcentre Plus. There is no point in contacting the Tribunals Service about this as they’ve passed the buck back to the Jobcentre Plus.
If you’ve lost…Well, nothing much happens really. Unless you were appealing a 3 year or 26 week sanction, the sanction is likely to be over before the appeal is heard, and even if it still going on, all that will happen is that the sanction will continue as it was doing before. However, if you think that the tribunal handled your case badly and you want to take your case further you have the right to do so.
This needs a whole new page to itself