Right to appeal and amendment to process for determining entitlement
56. Sections 46 to 49 and sections 61 of the Act provide for the right to appeal to the First-tier Tribunal (FtT), including a right to appeal against certain process decisions by Scottish Ministers. An individual may appeal to the FtT having first sought a redetermination of the initial decision. The Social Security Chamber of the FtT for Scotland came into being on 22 November 2018 to hear appeals against determinations made by Social Security Scotland. The Tribunal is administered by the Scottish Courts and Tribunal Services, which is independent of the Scottish Government. The new chamber became operational on 10 December 2018 and currently hears appeals in relation to Best Start Grant entitlement. It will increase in size and capacity as more benefits are delivered by Social Security Scotland.
57. Section 87 of the Act requires Scottish Ministers to report on the number of individuals who had the right to appeal and the number who took up this right. Social Security Scotland's annual report sets out the data on redeterminations and appeals, but during the reporting period around five appeals were received but no hearings took place.
58. Scottish Ministers must indicate, as part of this report, whether it is appropriate to amend the process for determining entitlement. Given the volume of appeals is low and there is no clear indication of issues around the application and determination process Scottish Ministers do not consider that there is any need for change at this time.
59. Appeals data will be kept under review and, as required, Scottish Ministers will report annually on whether the determination process needs to be amended.
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