When the tribunal members think they have 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. Your benefit should be increased, normally, from the work related activity group rate to the support group rate, and you should also get arrears to make up the difference over the past.
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 Her Majesty’s Court and Tribunals Service about this as they’ve passed the buck back to the Jobcentre Plus.
If you’ve lost…There are two possibilities here:
- The tribunal might agree with the Jobcentre Plus that you should be on Employment and Support Allowance, but at the work related activity group rate, in which case everything carries on as before.
- The tribunal might decide that you shouldn’t be on Employment and Support Allowance at all, in which case you may have no option but to claim Jobseeker's Allowance: however I strongly recommend you seek advice about this.
If you want to try to take the appeal further click here.