How long are you going to wait for a hearing at the Social Security Tribunal?

This is the question I am asked daily. 

I can provide you with the following information.  The Tribunal are currently working on the oldest "legacy" cases that have come over from the old Review Tribunal.  These are appeals numbered in the 113's and 114's - the last legacy cases were numbered in the 125's.  If you are an appeal that was received by the tribunal in 2013 or 2014,  all of the "legacy appeals" are going to be heard first.  If you can demonstrate a reason why your appeal should be heard on an emergant basis - if you have a terminal illness maybe then maybe your appeal will be heard sooner.  If you have financial hardship, you will have to demonstrate this - and it is likely that most of the appellants are in financial hardship.

The Tribunal will be tackling the oldest cases first and these appellants in the 113's and 114's likely applied for Canada Pension Plan disability in 2009 - 2010. 

It is going to take some time for these files to make their way to appeal as they have 90 days when a Tribunal Member gets the file and schedules a hearing, to ensure that all documents are received - so this means any files assigned to a Member in June may not have hearings until September or October.  It is my understanding that the Tribunal will have to handle these appeals in  "chunks at at time" so they are manageable for the Tribunal Members.

So if you have a legacy appeal you can imagine if you are in the 120-125 you are going to be waiting a very long time.

One hope is that Canada Pension Plan agrees to settle the case so that an appeal is not necessary, however, all information still has to go through the Social Security Tribunal as this is where the file is currently managed.  So if you have an appeal that is a legacy case- or any case for that matter - it is very important to make sure that you appeal is prepared and all information is submitted - perhaps the Feds will conceed.

I also wonder if it might be smart to withdraw your appeal and reapply to CPP disability as it may not take as long to have your application adjudicated - but then you have to consider that you will lose all of your arrears payments - plus there is the 62 percent denial rate - plus there is no guarantee that your new application would be allowed and then you are back where you started.  It is an very hard decision to make.

Now I have mentioned the denial rates at CPP disability - so it is more important than ever that you put together a complete application - that you do not leave this to chance - that you get help with this.  If you are denied and need to get a reconsideration - then you are plain out foolish to try and do this alone - especially given the situation I have described.

 

 

 

Requesting a Ministerial Enquiry

http://www.parl.gc.ca/Parlinfo/Compilations/HouseofCommons/MemberByPostalCode.aspx?Menu=HOC

 

This link will help you identify your Member of Parliament using your postal code.

Clients have been asking what they can do in order to find out answers regarding their appeals.  My suggestion is that you contact your Member of Parliament and ask them to do a Ministerial Enquiry concerning the delays on your file.

I would email or write them using this format:

 

The Honourable (Name of MP)

Member of Parliament (riding/constituency)

Consituency office address

 

Date


Dear MP,

 

My name is (add full name ) I am writing as one of your constituents since (date of residence) and would like to seek your assistance.

I have been denied Canada Pension Plan disability benefits and I am currently waiting for an appeal at the Social Security Tribunal.  I have been waiting for an appeal to be heard since (add date).

Despite sendng in numerous medical reports and submissions outlining my reasons for qualify under the Canada Pension Plan disabiity legislation, I have yet to have my appeal heard, nor have I received information indicating that the documents I have submitted have been received.  I am unable to get information from the Social Security Tribunal and my requests for information have gone unanswered.

As a result of this I am unable to afford my medication, and I an under extreme financial hardship.

My file number is (Social Insurance Number)

My Date of Birth is:

I seek your assistance in this matter and I am requesting your office submit a Ministerial Enquiry.  I understand that your office is able to contact Employment and Social Development Canada on my behalf to determine the status of my appeal.  It is my understand that the Social Security Tribunal have significant delays and I ask for an explanation from Minister Kenney as to how these backlogs are going to be managed?  I am asking for a time line so I may know when my appeal will be heard.

Please feel free to contact me should you need any more details or information.

Yours truly,

 

Name

Address

Telephone Number

 

The Minister responsible for Canada Pension Plan and the Social Security Tribunal is:

The Honourable Jason Kenney

House of Commons

Ottawa, On

K1A 0A6

 

jason.kenney@parl.gc.ca

 

Phone:  1-613-992-2235

Fax:  1-613-992-1920

 

 

 

 

No Answers from the Social Security Tribunal

Today I have had numerous phone calls from clients asking me when they will get an appeal at the Social Security Tribunal.  These people are unable to afford the medication they need, as well as the medical equipment reuired because of their disabilities.  I have sent in numerous submissions to the Social Security Tribunal that have not been acknowledged - and I have no idea whether the information is even being sent to Canada Pension Plan.

I have client submissions that have been sent from CPP disability - stupid denials - stupid because they clearly ignore the information that has been submitted to them - and they continue to maintain the denial despite numerous medical reports supporting disability - this forces the clients to have to rebutt their position and then they are not told for months at a time what the response is to their rebuttal.

Canada Pension Plan Disability should adopt the motto - DENY, DELAY, DEFEND.........  seems appropriate.

The tactic appears to be to deny appeals despite medical support, to delay the response to the clients so they starve them on to provincial disability if they qualify (and in to bankruptcy many times). and to defend their position with ridiculous submissions forcing clients to continue to respond and send in paper work straining their relationships with their doctors when they throw up their hands and say they do not know want to do - the continual denials cost the health care system and many of these clients have no money to get the medical information they need - so the big Federal government wins again when the little guy throws up his hands and cries Uncle.

Please people get help - you do not want to be stuck appealing to the Social Security Tribunal as the delays are unimaginable.  Do not give up - make sure you do what you can to submit information at the initial application and for sure the reconsideration.

To the CPP Adjudicator who told me "that we need people like you" I appreciate it - seems this staff member understands the CPP disability motto.

Arrgh Frustrated.

Social Security Tribunal statistics

Hello everyone - it has been some time since I have submitted a blog entry - I have been out of the country visiting my family.

In a prior blog entry I talked about some information I received about the Social Security Tribunal and included in this information was the fact that the Tribunal had held 178 appeals the rest of the appeals appear to be either summary dismissals or CPP Disability settlements.

I wanted to dig a little deeper in to these appeals and these are the results that I have obtained:

  • There were 82 appeals heard by teleconference and out of the 82 appeals that were heard 20 were allowed and 50 were dismissed there are 12 cases for which a decision had not been rendered.
  • There were 26 appeals held by videoconference and of the 26 appeals that were heard 10 were allowed and 16 were dismissed.
  • Finally, the Social Security Tribunal summarily dismissed 65 appeals.

 

Not great statistics - with a heavy denial rate I would say. I am worried about the teleconference statistics - that result seems very skewed - as it stands a 25% approval rate.

It seems that this tribunal is denying more appeals than it is approving. HMMMMM

I also think given these statistics that it is not a good idea to have a hearing by teleconference - which speaks to my previous blog entries about the requirements for in-person hearings.  I also wonder whether these clients have rushed to get hearings thinking that they would get the matter settled without really understanding the implications of the CPP legislative tenants, nor their requirements in order to suppot their appeals.

Okay, I am getting a lot of calls from frustrated clients regarding the delays in getting appeals - I understand completely.  My case - the man who has lung cancer that I asked for an expediated appeal - and was told by Senior Management at the SST had been placed before a Member and granted - I still have not received any document on that -  I first sent my request asking for an urgent appeal on March 27th, I had a converstation with senior management the end of April, and I sent another email on May 2nd, 2014 - I still have not received any notification and it is now May 27 - so that is two months since I sent in the request for an urgent appeal.  What a pathetic response from this tribunal to a man who has lung cancer. 

Finally it appears that you need to win the hearing lottery to actually get one.  It is administrative justice hijacking by this federal government.  I cannot think of any other words to describe this process and the disservice happening to people with disabilities entitled to a benefit to which they contributed CPP payments throughout their working careers.

I am now going to contact outside sources to see if they can shed some light on to this disgrace.

I just need to get back on to Canada time.

Also, please if you have been denied CPP disability at initial (62% of you will receive denials) get help with the reconsideration appeals as if you are denied you will be facing long delays.  I still have not got appeals for clients who applied to the Review Tribunal in March 2012 - that is 24 months of waiting.

If you have been denied get help - I cannot stress this enough.