An interesting phone call

For the last 15 years I have been helping and advocating on behalf of Canadians who are denied CPP Disability benefits.

I have over the years. had the opportunity to meet and speak with many of the HRSDC staff who adjudicate these claims.

This week, I had a question.  I wanted to find out the CPP fax number for a regional office so that I could send additional information I had collected to help CPP disability provide a decision on an appeal based on the totality of the medical information.

I did not have this regional fax number - so I called a CPP adjudicator directly and left a message. I am very judicious with my phone calls and do not abuse or bother any one.

Today I received a phone call from management stating that I had to use the Service Canada 1-800 number to ask a question.  I promptly asked if this manager had indeed tried to use the "Service Canada" number herself to which she replied she had not.  I told her, that if she tried to use this number then maybe she would also want to call a direct line for a CPP adjudicator.

Apparently the adjudicators are too busy doing their work to respond to a simple request for a fax number, which necessitated in a REGIONAL MANAGER to call me to tell me not to phone them.  SERIOUSLY?

I promptly explained to the manager, that over the last 15 years, that I have tried to develop a relationship with the adjudicators and to work along side them rather than from an adverserial position and there are some great people in the vairous regions that I have gotten to know along the way who I would have thought, would have had no problem taking a phone call from me.

So to the adjudicator whose phone call from me, apparently upset her so much, that she had to go to her manager and have her call me, for a simple request for a fax number, to fax over medical information to help the CPP and the client get and do a fair and complete assessment, I am very sorry for the inconvenience that I caused. How ridiculous. 

 

CPP Social Security Tribunal

I believe it will take some time before the new CPP Social Security Tribunal is going to be up and running in a seamless fashion.

As you know from prior blogs, appellants must sign a Notice of Readiness and submit this before they will get a hearing.

Because there is a significant back log of appeals that transferred over from the Review Tribunal and the Pension Appeals Board, and from my review only 10 members hearing appeals, it is very likely that there is going to be a long wait to get a hearing.

Firstly, I understand the devastation that this waiting is going to cause you and your family physically, mentally, and financially.  The reality is - I have people who have been waiting for an appeal now for over 12 months, and there is absolutely no indication as to when appeals will be heard at the CPP Social Security Tribunal.  I am sorry to say, but you have no options at this time but to wait it out.  I might suggest you contact your local MP and express how you feel about these delays. 

So what should you do while you are waiting?

1.  Review the case file - find out what your Minimum Qualifying Date is. Make sure you have provided medical evidence from the time of your MQP to present.

2.  Continue to attend treatment - continue to go to your medical appointments - continue to submit supportive medical information to the Social Security Tribunal.

3.  Do not sign the Notice of Readiness until you are absolutely sure that you have submitted all of the information to support your appeal.  If you are uncertain if you have done enough to establish your claim then contact a professional.  Review through this website to help you understand the legislative criteria of CPP disability.  If you are uncertain then call DCAC and obtain professional advice.

4.  If you receive any correspondence from the CPP Social Security Tribunal requiring a written response contact a professional. Do not answer until you know for sure you are giving the appropriate responses.

5.  If you are a client of an insurance company and they have asked you to appeal or apply for CPP disability - ask them to provide you with your medical file as they will have investigated your disability and this information could be sent to CPP disability to help with your appeal.

6.  Request a hearing either by video conference or in person.  Although it is the Social Security Tribunal member's decision as to how an appeal will be heard - I would ask and submit that the totality of the information cannot be assessed on paper alone.

7.  Write a submission arguing why you meet the CPP disability rules - perhaps if you send in enough information to support your appeal the CPP disability may be settled before the Social Security Tribunal.  That is why I think it is so important to have a professional work with you as there may be quicker resolution to your appeal.

8.  Continue to read this blog - as I find out more information, I will post it here.