From April 2013, a right of appeal against a decision will only be allowed once a revision [looking at your claim again] has been considered by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP). The government is currently considering changing the appeal process itself, so that claimants appeal directly to HM Courts and Tribunals Service, rather than via the DWP.
Once these systems are in place, anyone appealing before requesting a revision will have their appeal treated as an application for revision by the DWP. There would then be a further right of appeal if the revision did not give the client everything they asked for. The DWP is currently consulting on how this process will work, looking specifically at ensuring that a different decision-maker revises the case and phones the claimant with the outcome of the revision request.
The government’s interim response to the consultation indicates that there will be no time limit by which the DWP must complete a revision request, nor will there be provision for Employment and Support Allowance to be paid pending the outcome of the revision. The full government response is expected at the end of July 2012.