Since the announcement of the new appeals system was made by the Harper government, I have been feeling very discouraged. The rug that has been under my feet and the system that I am familiar with, trust, and know well is changing significantly.
Change is hard.
I have worried about what the implications will be to the people who are currently in the appeals system, as well as the people who find themselves applying for CPP disability. I have worried everyday about what to do - and how I can help.
There is still a lot of waiting to be done as there is still no indication of what the new system will look like.
What I do know for sure, is that I am an expert in my field, the CPP tenants are not going to change, only the format of the appeal.
So my committment to you is that I am going to diligently work to understand the new processes, that I am going to figure out a way to case - manage an appeal, and I am going to ensure that any information I find out about the transition to the new Social Security Tribunal will be shared on this website so we can all be prepared together. I believe that knowledge is power and the more knowledge I can share, the better prepared we will all be.
Let's face it - the Feds cannot deny every case that appears before them - and I am going to continue to work hard to ensure that DCAC remains the most successful CPP case-management service in Canada. That is my goal.
I get phone calls in the office about applying for Canada Pension Plan disability benefits.
With the new Social Security Tribunal that is looming in the horizon, I believe it is more important than ever, to make sure when you make your application that you do the most complete job as you can and submit as much information you can. What I suggest is that you read through the various application guides that are available on the internet, as well as discussing in length with your family physician about your intention to apply.
I would also try and get through to Service Canada and ask them if they can send you out a Record of CPP contributions so you can determine your Minimum Qualifying Period date so that you can send in medical information to support your application around the appropriate time frames.
A good rule of thumb in terms of MQP, you usually qualify up to two years after the time you stopped working - of course there are always exceptions - but that is a good rule of thumb.
I am also starting to case- manage applications here at DCAC. In my opinion it is very important that the initial application is done well - given the denial rates and now the reliance it appeals on paper appeals only (see previous blog entries).
If you have been denied and you are requesting reconsideration also consider obtaining a case-manager to help you through this process.