If you can’t get your appeal in within a month of the date on the letter refusing you, don’t panic! Your appeal can still be accepted even if it’s late. You need to explain on your appeal letter why the appeal is late. There are two other bits of good news:
- The Jobcentre Plus are likely to accept your late appeal if it late, if you give clear reasons;
- If the Jobcentre Plus doesn’t think your reasons are good enough, it does not have the power itself to refuse to accept your appeal: instead it has to pass the matter on to Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunals Service for them to decide whether your reasons are good enough. You may be asked to attend an appeal hearing to explain why your appeal was late.
|There is (normally) no right of appeal against a decision refusing to accept a late appeal|
There is an absolute time limit of a year and a month after the date on the decision letter. So if, for example, the decision letter was sent to you on 12th May 2012 and the appeal gets to them on 13th June 2013, it will not be accepted, no matter how good the reasons you have.
And don’t get too excited about having a year and a month to appeal. The later your appeal is the better your reason needs to be. You’ll need a VERY good reason if the decision was sent on 12th May 2012 and your appeal gets to them on 10th June 2013! In fact anything that gets to them a more than a month after the decision was sent to you is going to need a pretty unusual reason.
So what might be a good reason? Here are some possible examples, based on a decision issued on 12th May 2012 :
- “I phoned the Jobcentre Plus and they said that they’d sent me an appeal form, but it never arrived”
- “I’m not good at reading and writing, and had to wait to find someone I trusted to explain the letter to me”
- “I never received the decision notice, which must have got lost in the post. The first thing I knew was that my Employment and Support Allowance had stopped.”
rely on your appeal being accepted if it’s late
DON’T delay further if your appeal is late
DO give further information and reasons if asked