The format in which a claim to benefit can be made depends on the actual benefit being claimed.
For example, a claim for Income Support and Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) must always be made on the appropriate form, while a claim to Pension Credit (PC) and Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) can be made by telephone.
When additional supporting evidence is sought by the decision maker, it should be provided as soon as possible.
While the rules described here apply to most benefits administered by the Social Security Agency (SSA), Northern Ireland Housing Executive (NIHE) and Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC), they do not cover those benefits with separate schemes for decision making and appeals, ie: For further information on the decision making process as it applies to tax credits, administered by HMRC, please see Law Centre (NI)’s tax credit briefings available on the website ( R).
Adjudication in connection with Housing Benefit is now incorporated within decision making and appeals legislation.
The SSA administers social security on a day to day basis and is responsible for awards and payments of benefits.
The SSA runs regional offices in Belfast and Derry and, in conjunction with DEL, runs local offices across Northern Ireland.