The rules for appeals under the universal credit system are set out in the Universal Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Jobseeker’s Allowance and Employment and Support Allowance (Decisions and Appeals) Regulations 2013 (SI.No.381/2013).

NB: See below for equivalent legislation in Northern Ireland.

Consideration of revision before appeal

Regulation 7 of SI.No.381/2013

Sets out that a mandatory reconsideration must be undertaken before a person has a right of appeal.

Other persons with right of appeal

Regulation 49 of SI.No.381/2013

Sets out that appointees and persons required to repay overpayments have a right of appeal in addition to claimants.

Appeals in cases when claim not required

Regulation 50 of SI.No.381/2013

Sets out the right to appeal against entitlement decisions in cases where a claim is not required (couples separating or forming).

Decisions against which no appeal lies

Regulation 50 and Schedule 3 of SI.No.381/2013

Set out the categories of decisions against which a right of appeal does not lie.

Notice of appeal

Regulation 51 of SI.No.381/2013

Sets out requirements for the Secretary of State to include rights of appeal and to a statement of reasons with a decision.

Appeals against decisions which have been revised

Regulation 52 of SI.No.381/2013

Sets out that appeals will not lapse following revisions that are not more advantageous to the claimant.

Appeals involving test cases

Regulation 53 of SI.No.381/2013

Sets out that a decision maker can make a decision pending outcome of a test case based on the assumption that the test case is decided in the most unfavourable way to the claimant.

Regulation 54 of SI.No.381/2013

Sets out prescribed circumstances where a test case is considered pending when an appeal against it has not been brought.

In Northern Ireland, SR.No.221/2016 makes provision in relation to payments that is largely equivalent to that in Great Britain.

Further explanation of the legislation is set out in guidance. Please note, however, guidance is not binding and cannot override the legislation.

Advice for decision making

Chapter A5

Guidance on appeals for benefits under universal credit.

Advice for decision making

Annex D and Annex E

​Set out decisions and determinations that are appealable and not appealable respectively.

DWP guidance from

Mandatory reconsiderations

​Sets out guidance for DWP staff on the process for mandatory reconsideration and revision.

Case law​ provides further interpretation of the legislation and establishes legal precedent.

Upper Tribunal

[2020] UKUT 109 (AAC)

Appeal rights where a universal credit claim has been ‘closed’ for non-attendance at a jobcentre interview / whether appealable decision is subject to requirement for mandatory reconsideration

Upper Tribunal

[2018] UKUT 332 (AAC)

Cause of universal credit overpayment irrelevant to its recoverability and no right to appeal against decision to recover.

Upper Tribunal

[2022] UKUT 292 (AAC)

First-tier Tribunal’s failure to recognise it had discretion to admit an appeal outside the 13-month absolute time limit in exceptional circumstances amounted to error of law