Benefits Owl is a member of          Addventures logo
‘I'm worried about Jobseeker’s Allowance Sanctions’
> ‘What can I do if I've been sanctioned?’
>> 'I want advice about taking my appeal to a tribunal'
>>> ‘Tell me how to prepare for a hearing’

If you have a professional representative, you don’t have to worry about this bit: this is their job. Lucky you!

If not, there’s still no need to worry, but you do need to understand why preparation is important.

You have the chance to provide the tribunal service with documents in support of your appeal before the day of the hearing, and I recommend that you take advantage of this opportunity.

Tribunals are made up of human beings. Surprising, but true. Being human, they want things to be clear, and they want things to be as easy as possible. In particular, they want to you be clear about what you want, and why you disagree with the decision maker. Being human, they also like to be prepared, so it’s a good idea to let you have anything before the day of the hearing (Letters from the tribunal service will ask you to provide extra information at least a week before the hearing: in reality they are more flexible than that, and will even accept new documents on the day, but it’s best to avoid this if you can: the longer and more complex the new documents are the more likely the tribunal is to be unhappy about them).

I recommend that in most cases you provide the following documents:

I’ll deal with the evidence first, then look at the submission.

But before we do either, I strongly recommend that you look through the appeal bundle and mark things you’re not happy with.

Additional Evidence

Remember that you are trying to convince the tribunal that you meet the rules for Employment and Support Allowance. Any evidence that doesn’t help with this is useless, and, sometimes, annoy the tribunal.

If you had some good reason for failing to keep to your jobseeker’s agreement and you have evidence of this, include it. Here are two possible examples:

The Submission

Your submission has a number of jobs to do:

My general advice about how to write your submission is as follows:

When you’ve finished your submission...

The Tribunal Service like to get extra documents at least a week before the hearing, because they have to send it out to the tribunal panel members and to the Jobcentre Plus. If you don’t manage to do this, they may accept it on the day of the hearing, although the longer the pile of papers you provide the more annoyed the tribunal is likely to be.

‘Tell me about actually going to the hearing’
‘How do I maximise my chances of success?’
‘What happens at the end of the hearing?’