Using my blog entries

It has come to my attention that my blog entries are being used by third party organizations.

I would like to state unequivically, that I have no association or affliation with these third party organizations who are posting all of my blog entries on their own websites.

These blog entries that are being used, are being used without my permission.

I have requested that my blog entries be removed from these websites - it is my hope that this organization will honour my request immediately.

 

I post thse entries to help individuals who are in the appeal process who are dealing with a CPP denial and it is my intention to provide this information in the hopes that it can be used in a constructive and positive manner.  If you would like to use these blog entries to help with your appeal, or if you would like to include this information in your organization publications online,  please contact me via email at info@dcac.ca and I will be pleased to entertain your request.

 

 

 

 

Bouquets for the Tribunal Staff

We are heading in to our final two weeks of Review Tribunal and Pension Appeals Board hearings.  The CPP Social Security Tribunal will become in to effect on April 1, 2013.  Change is not easy, and it is going to be a totally new system to get used to in terms of how I am going to present my client's cases.  Thankfully the legislative criteria has not changed of course, you will still have to meet the CPP disability criteria no matter what level of appeal you are at.

I am going to be away working for the next couple of weeks, I have a final eight Review Tribunal hearings to do.

I want to take this opportunity to send my appreciation to the staff of the Review Tribunal and Pension Appeals Board. I would also like to say thank you to the Judges of the PAB as well as the Review Tribunal Panel members. Some are moving on to new positions at the Social Security Tribunal, some are retiring, and some people did not get positions.  My thanks go to you for your support over the last 15 years - for the way that you have all professionally managed the appeal cases, as well as myself.  It has been a great pleasure getting to know you over the years and I wish you all the very best in your new endeavours.

I am feeling the worry of this change - any change, even a possible change for the better, is accompanied with challenges and drawbacks. Like I have said before - keep calm and carry on - and please keep in touch - you know where to find me.

One quick aside to this message - last night I was watching my regular TV shows that I record on my PVR during the week - and I counted at least five times that the Government of Canada advertised its work vision - or whatever economic vision they have for the future.  Instead of paying all this money on advertising how good they are making it for job seekers, and business - why don't they pay their own employees to keep up the levels of acceptable service Canadians need?  Just Saying.

Pull back the curtain please?

It is my goal to help Canadians understand the CPP disability process - I want to pull back the curtain - and help level out the playing field. 

The information I post in these blogs, as well as the information that is included in the CPP application and appeals guide - are based on years of experience of working with Canadians applying for and or appealing the denial of their benefits.

In order to do this well, I employ individuals who also have had their own unique experiences with CPP disability.   I have a lot of information about my employees, who we are, and what we have done.  I pull back the curtain and do not hide behind 1800 numbers, or websites without any addresses or information on fees, or who it is that is actually offering their expertise.

I am happy to announce a new community partner working along side DCAC which I will share in the near future - which I believe will serve my clients well.  I also have some exciting new changes happening with the website - check back frequently.

I received some lovely congratulatory calls yesterday acknowledging my 15 years of service in this business.  It has been a blessing for me to do this work.

End of Year Reflections

Well here I am again winding up another year of work at DCAC.

It has certainly been an interesting year with lots of twists and turns and certainly the major changes coming in the new year the details of which are still unknown.

I have some people that I would like to thank and send my warmest wishes out for the festive season - the registrars and staff and the Pension Appeals Board - the scheduling officer - who is always working hard to organize the scheduling of the hearings - to the staff and scheduling officers at the Review Tribunal office - and the Management and Legal Team who are always helpful when questions arise - and to the staff at CPP offices who handle all of the numerous Personal Information Requests that I send in from all over the country.

The first three months of the new year are going to be very busy with the wrap up of the existing appeals system.  The regulations for the Social Security Tribunal have not yet been released and we are all waiting for these with baited breath to see what the new system will look like.

It has been a very busy year and I am ready to break over the holiday season.

In the new year I will be bringing some additional services to DCAC which I am excited about - as well as some new staff members - and changes to the website - hang on to your hats it's going to be a fun ride I think.

So I would like to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, a joyous Holiday Season, and Prosperity and Good Health for the New Year.

Take Care - Allison

 

In Memory of Gordon Pynn

The print I have just uploaded hangs in my office. Mr Gordon Pynn accomplished artist gave this print to me after I won his Pension Appeals Board hearing. Mr. Pynn was a fighter - he did not give up - and fought the system. The hearing was the longest hearing I have ever been involved in - it was a slug fight from start to end - but we were successful.

The last time I saw Gordon and his wife Jo - they presented me with this print. He wrote - "To Allison, who fought for me, who never gave up, and who truly has the spirit of the cougar" This hangs in my office and I look at it often when I am frustrated or discouraged.

Gordon championed my work, he was an encouraging email away, he was a silent supporter, and an all-round good guy, and I will miss him. But like Mr. Villani (the Villani decision - who I met personally and kept in touch with until he passed) I know he is encouraging me on from a better place.

Rest in Peace Gord - and my condolences to Jo Anne and your family.

New Team Members coming to DCAC

Well after many years of running DCAC on my own - I am pleased to announce that I have added two new team members to better service everyone's needs. I will make formal announcements shortly. The new team members will be able to assist me as DCAC expands and grows offering services from coast to coast. Very exciting news indeed.

I am also working on some really exciting changes to the website - lots of interactive devices that will help you understand the legislative tenants of Canada Pension Plan disability.

Thank you to all the people who call me weekly - it is a pleasure to speak with you all - and also for your kind words of encouragement about my work and the website.

Have a great weekend. Talk soon.

Forgive my spelling

I am having trouble getting my blog software to allow me to edit posts - I keep losing them when trying to edit - so forgive my spelling errors. Will edit my posts when I can get to the bottom of it GRRRR.

Still learning after all this time.

This week marks my 14th year of running the clinic.

I was so vain as to think that I really understood the procedures and the CPP program well - and you know I do - but there appears situtations to me that I really do not have any idea how to answer people's questions.

I ask them have they phoned the 1-800 number - you know "Service Canada" - and they laugh at me. They tell me that they receive different information depending on the time they call - and then it is an insufferable amount of holding time before you are connected - well I suppose we cannot complain too much - I mean some of the 1-800 numbers I call are off shore and at least "Service Canada" remains in Canada - but any way I digress!

Okay so I have some pretty good contacts within the department - well I thought I did - because I have sent several emails to CPP managers, as well as called CPP regional officers - only to be told to phone the 1-800 number! Yeah okay....

Anyway I am back to trying to wade through enormous amounts of procedures to find policy and answers to questions that half the time I think do not exist - or maybe they exist in one region but not another.

So my recourse is the Freedom Of Information Act, then I have things in black and white and concrete answers to my questions that do not forget relate to Canadians in the public - not cause I am out of a whim trying to find information for my own jollies.

Maybe the Feds are pissed at me cause I am "outing" them - and hello to all you bureaucrats who are reading the blog.

So yes there are clients that appear that have unique situations that I am very interested in finding out the answers - and I often get ideas for the blog from CPP recipients - so thanks and keep them coming. I will try and find out the answers to your questions the answers that you are advised to get from "Service Canada".

Skype Appointments

I have set up the clinic to be able to conduct appointments via webcam using Skype.

I have found that this is an excellent way for people to consult with me from all over Canada.

If you are interested in talking wiith me via Skype please email me to set up a time and then send a friend request using Skype to the Disability Claims Advocacy Clinic.

Please note I will not respond to friend requests to people who have not identified themselves to me!

Disability Tax Credit

The lead story on the CBC National News last night was on Disabilty Tax Credit abuse and the various agencies that have enabled and facilitated these applications.

Most people who claim the disability tax credit are eligible for the benefit.

Many more people with disabilities who would be eligible for the disability tax credit get no benefit of the Disability Tax Credit because they do not have a taxable income.  The Disability Tax Credit should be a refundable benefit I know many individuals with disabilities who survive on incomes below or close to poverty levels - if they had the extra refunded benefit - like the GST or Child Tax benefit - that would be a large financial improvement in their lives. 

Disability Tax Credit eligibility also determines eligibility for other benefits such as the Child Disability Benefit, the Registered Disability Savings Plan, the Working Income Tax Disability Benefit.  It is no longer simply used as a mechanism for offsetting the additional costs of disability for those with a taxable income.

It is easier for those with mobility or sensory impairments to become eligible than those with cognitive impairments in that the evidentiary base is easier to identify and establish- many individuals with mental health, intellectual disabilities, brain injuires, learning disabilities, and episodic disabilities have a hard time qualifying.

Using doctors as the gatekeepers for this benefit is a poor use of an expensive and limited resource.  The Canada Revenue Agency should explore other means of gatekeeping this deduction.

This is the message from the disability community.