Commissioners' decisions

The Northern Ireland Digest of Case Law and links relating to commissioners' decisions.

NIDOC - Northern Ireland Digest of Case-law

The aim of the NIDOC - Northern Ireland Digest of Case-law is primarily to assist our staff to fulfil their obligations to the Office of the Social Security Commissioners and Child Support Commissioners (OSSC) in Northern Ireland with regard to social security benefit, compensation recovery and child support applications and appeals.

Decision Making Services (DMS) represent the department in applications and appeals to the Commissioners by preparing written submissions and attending hearings. NIDOC has been available on the department’s website since 10 November 2000.

Hopefully it is presented in a suitable format for research by experienced professionals, those involved officially and unofficially in presenting appeals, and the public in general. The database contains all decisions from January 2000 and most of the important decisions from past years.

As the need is identified, and resources permit, other relevant past decisions will be added. NIDOC is maintained with the co-operation of OSSC (NI) and has the approval of the Northern Ireland Chief Commissioner.

This database is owned and maintained by Decision Making Services.

Northern Ireland Commissioners' decisions Numbering System

Social Security Commissioners' decisions are numbered in a broadly uniform fashion. Generally they consist of a letter to denote the decision's status followed by the number of the decision and the year in which the decision was given. Initials in brackets indicate the benefit to which the decision relates. Reported decisions (beginning with "R") take precedence over all others, which are unreported.

R1 / 96 (IB):

  • R = reported decision
  • 1 / 96 = first decision in 1996 in the benefit group
  • (IB) = incapacity benefit

C2 / 00-01 (DLA):

  • C = unreported decision by Commissioner on an appeal
  • 2 / 00-01 = second decision in 2000-01 in the benefit group
  • (DLA) = disability living allowance

A4 / 96 (JSA):

  • A = a determination by Commissioner on an application
  • 4/96 = fourth determination in 1996 in the benefit group
  • (JSA) = job seekers' allowance

Child support unreported decisions have a slightly different numbering system in that the first two letters indicate the benefit and the third letter indicates whether the decision was given on an appeal or application.

 CSA2 / 99:

  • CS = child support
  • A = a determination on an application
  • 2 / 99 = second determination in that group in 1999

CSC5 / 00-01:

  • CS = child support
  • C = unreported decision on an appeal
  • 5 / 00-01 = fifth decision in that group in 2000-01

Users should note that the design of this database required DMS to give all decisions a 3-digit number through the use of leading zeros.

For example:

  • R1 / 96 (IB) becomes R001 / 96 (IB)
  • C22 / 97 (JSA) becomes C022 / 97 (JSA)
  • A6 / 00-01 (DLA) becomes A006 / 00-01 (DLA)

When quoting a decision in correspondence to OSSC or to a tribunal these 'leading zeros' should be dropped from the reference number.

Decisions that appear on NIDOC and that have been issued over the last number of years are also given a title and a neutral citation number.

For example:

  • SL v Department for Social Development (DLA) (2010) NI Com 226

This denotes the initials of the appellant, the year in which the decision is signed and the sequential number.

If the decision is subsequently reported then it will be allocated a reported number starting with year followed by the notation ACCR and the sequential number of the decision. Northern Ireland reported decisions are numbered in sequence with GB reported decisions.

For example [2011] AACR 1 would be the first decision in 2011.


© Crown Copyright Reserved. Copyright subsists in all Commissioners' decisions. Individual copies of decisions published on the Internet may be made for use solely in pending legal proceedings or academic research, and reasonable excerpts quoted in the press provided the source is acknowledged.

Other reproduction or publication in any form without express permission is prohibited.

Reported decisions

Reported decisions are published in book form. They are currently published by The Stationery Office in an annual volume in June for the previous calendar year.


We welcome feedback on the NIDOC database. If you have any comments or suggestions for improvement of this part of the website please contact the Decision Making Services.

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