Challenging Work and Income decisions: Reviews and appeals
Challenging medical assessments: Going to a Medical Appeal Board
What decisions are reviewed by a Medical Appeal Board?
Any decisions that involve medical assessments are reviewed by a Medical Appeal Board. This includes decisions about whether you’re entitled to a benefit, or whether you have to carry out certain obligations.
Decisions that involve medical assessments include:
- whether you can get Jobseeker Support, either because:
- you’re unable to look for full-time work because your ability to work is limited by a health condition, or
- you’re currently employed, but because of a health condition, you’re not currently working or you’re working at a reduced level
- whether you can get a Supported Living Payment on medical grounds
- whether you can get a Child Disability Allowance based on your child’s health condition
- whether or not you’ll be expected to carry out certain obligations, such as:
- part-time work obligations, or
- work preparation obligations (see: “What are “work obligations”?”).
Who sits on a Medical Appeal Board?
A Medical Appeal Board is made up of three health professionals who are appointed by Work and Income and who have no connection with you. They can be doctors or other health professionals such as nurses, physiotherapists or occupational therapists.
What happens at a Medical Appeal Board hearing?
The Board will hold a hearing, which you and a support person or representative can attend. You can present whatever evidence you want at the hearing as well as explaining in person why you disagree with the decision and answering any questions the Board might have. The hearings usually last about one hour.
Work and Income present a written report to the Board. If you go to the hearing, a representative from Work and Income will also be there.
Can I appeal a decision of a Medical Appeal Board?
No. You can’t appeal a Medical Appeal Board’s decision to the Social Security Appeal Authority (unlike decisions of Benefit Review Committees).
However, you can challenge the decision on limited grounds by applying to the High Court for a judicial review (see: “Challenging decisions and conduct of government agencies”).
A Medical Appeal Board’s decision will no longer be binding if your medical condition changes. In that case, you could reapply for the benefit with your new circumstance.