7.1. Locations and Timing of Listing

Cases are heard in the Social Security and Child Support Appeals First-tier Tribunal. There are seven venues across London, the largest of which is Fox Court next to Chancery Lane tube station (most Z2K cases are heard there).

As of January 2019, the median waiting time for cases to be heard at tribunal following the lodging of an appeal was 25-30 weeks. When added to the time taken for claims to be processed, assessments scheduled, and the MR process fulfilled, it can be a year or more from the date of the original claim.

Urgent Hearing Requests

It is possible to make an Urgent Hearing Request for the Tribunals Service to list the case ahead of others in the queue. The threshold for this is extremely high however, and the experience of financial difficulties, or stress and anxiety by the Appellant as a result of the wait, are unlikely to be sufficient. If made close to the time when the case would be listed anyway, the request can actually delay listing – a case is removed from the queue while the Urgent Hearing Request is considered by a judge, and then either slotted back in to its place in line, or bumped up the queue depending on the judge’s decision. Finally, the Regional Tribunal Judge has asked for requests to be made in only exceptional cases, to avoid tying up judges who could otherwise be contributing to case disposal.

Postponements 

It is also possible to ask for a postponement if there is good reason, such as the client needing urgent medical treatment. However, again the threshold for postponements is very high and many requests are rejected. If the postponement has been rejected, the panel can still decide to adjourn on the day, but are also able to make the decision in the client’s absence if there is not a good reason for not attending. 

If the client has planned appointments which they are unable to rearrange, they should inform HMCTS of this in advance so the hearing date does not conflict with these arragements.  

Last updated on February 22nd, 2019 at 04:28 pm