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Forum Home  →  Discussion  →  Decision making and appeals  →  Thread

Confusing message on HMCTS telephone number

Mr Finch
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Benefits adviser - Isle of Wight CAB

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After almost exclusively emailing in recent years, I phoned HMCTS recently from out of the office and was extremely confused by their hold message. I might be overly suspicious but their terminology seems to go out of its way to sound department-neutral: e.g. ‘you’re through to the social security service’, please allow ‘ten working days to process your application’. I had to confirm it was the Tribunal Service I was speaking to not the DWP. I just can’t see any legitimate reason to do this unless it’s either 1. to confuse people, or 2. to share the same admin.

Elliot Kent
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Shelter

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They have been using “The Social Security and Child Support service” for a little while which is a bit confusing but refers back to the sub-division of the Social Entitlement Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal which deals with social security and child support cases.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First-tier_Tribunal

It might be that it would be a bit clearer if they called it the “Social Security and Child Support Appeals service” but I don’t think there is anything sinister in it.

bristol_1
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WRAMAS Bristol City Council

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Well the message is even more confusing now. When you call you are given these options:
1 for info on how to make a new appeal
2 for info about an existing appeal
3 for any other SSCS enquiry

then choosing option 2 takes you to
1 for an appeal made within the last 2 weeks
2 if you wish to send us further evidence for your appeal
3 for a payment enquiry

If I were an appellant in person I might find it a bit confusing. What if I have an exsiting appeal and I want to discuss neither 1, 2 or 3 but some other aspect of my appeal….?

Choosing option 2 gives a recorded message of how to send additional evidence and then puts you through to an operator.

 

Peter Turville
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Welfare rights worker - Oxford Community Work Agency

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Note it does not give an option for:

If you want to discuss an administrative delay or error in the way we are dealing with your appeal.

Helen Rogers
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Welfare rights officer - Stockport MBC

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When I rang this morning, I didn’t choose any of the three options as I was getting over the shock that there wasn’t one for my query - and I just got put through to an operator.

chacha
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Benefits dept - Hertsmere Borough Council

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Funny this, just noticed this thread today after experiencing the message for the 1st time, had to ask for an extension on directions. Picked option 2, worked fine for me as the issue was dealt with and I just followed up with an email for the written request as required.

Must admit had to go through the options twice before I decided on option 2.

Elliot Kent
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Shelter

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bristol_1 - 14 January 2020 10:52 AM

then choosing option 2 takes you to
1 for an appeal made within the last 2 weeks
2 if you wish to send us further evidence for your appeal
3 for a payment enquiry

I don’t think any of those describe any call I have ever made to that number.

Normally I am calling to chase up something that has already been done in writing (e.g. checking whether an appeal has been received as acknowledgments aren’t sent to reps) or to clear up something weird that’s happened.