You have choices as to how you want your appeal to proceed. There are alternatives.
Firstly it may be possible for the tribunal to reach a decision based on the papers. This is called a determination on the papers and you will be asked if you want to proceed this way. You will not need to attend a hearing. Both you and Social Security Scotland, must agree to this.
The decision will be made based on the papers before the tribunal, including your notice of appeal and any other documents you have provided. No parties will be heard or attend. You will not be informed of the date the determination will be made but will of course be advised on the outcome.
It may be the tribunal considers it needs further information to make a fair and informed decision and in these circumstances you and/or Social Security Scotland may be requested to provide that further information. Should that happen you will be given a further opportunity to tell us how you want your appeal to proceed. You can choose to continue by determination on the papers
Secondly you can attend a hearing. This is called an oral hearing. An oral hearing can be conducted via teleconference, videoconference or in-person. We will ask you to confirm which type of hearing you wish to attend when we correspond with you. Most hearings are conducted by teleconference.
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A representative from Social Security Scotland may also attend an oral hearing.
What happens at a hearing?
Adult Disability Payment appeals and Child Disability Payment appeals will be heard by three members of the chamber; a legally qualified member who is the Convener, a medically qualified member and a disability qualified member.
If you are attending an in-person oral hearing we will try to arrange the hearing at a location convenient to the person who is appealing the decision.
You can bring someone to support you, such as a family member or friend, and/or have a representative at the hearing. More information about this is available at Support and Assistance.
If you participate in the oral hearing and we encourage you to do so:
The hearing will not be very formal. The tribunal is not a court.
You will have the opportunity to explain the reasons for your appeal. You will be asked questions about your appeal by the tribunal members.
We will record the hearing but the recording is only for the use of the tribunal.
Social Security Scotland may also be at the hearing. They may also ask you questions. They are not part of the tribunal and have no input into the final decision which is for the tribunal members alone.
The outcome decision may be given to you at the time or more likely sent out after the hearing.
The Social Security Chamber is independent and impartial.
If you require support, for example, an interpreter or use of a hearing loop you should request this when you make an appeal. The hearing may be delayed otherwise.
Taking oral evidence from persons located overseas in triubunal proceedings
SCTS would be grateful if parties who wish to lead evidence from witnesses located outside of the UK in The First-Tier Tribunal for Scotland, Upper Tribunal for Scotland, The Mental Health Tribunal for Scotland, The Pensions Appeals Tribunal and The Lands Tribunal for Scotland could assist with the following request from Wednesday 1 November 2023.
Where a party wishes to lead evidence by telephone or video from a witness located in a country outside the UK and that witness is unable to give evidence from within the UK, it would be helpful if the party could:
1. contact the tribunal to make staff aware of their intention to lead such evidence; and
2. confirm whether the proposed witness is a citizen or a resident in that country or not, so that the tribunal is made aware of the reason why the party requests that oral evidence is given from that country.
It would be helpful if this information could be provided to the appropriate tribunal as soon as parties become aware of the need for that witness to give evidence from outside the UK. In other words, at the earliest possible opportunity.
This will allow SCTS staff to identify, in collaboration with the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, whether the government of the country in which the evidence is going to be led consents to the leading of such evidence from within their jurisdiction. If such consent is provided, this information will allow operational staff and the tribunal member(s) presiding over the proceedings to confirm whether they are content for evidence to be led in this way and, if so, to make suitable arrangements.
This request aligns with the approach being taken by His Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office in relation to tribunal proceedings in England and Wales.