Last week we experienced a solar eclipse, something that is a rarity and infrequently happens. As I had my weekly staff meeting, we got to talking about what can happen in the blink of an eye.
Some disabilities are chronic and occur over a number of years - but sometimes disability happens quite literally in the blink of an eye - a fall off a ladder, being hit by a car, a stroke, a heart attack. Quite literally in the blink of an eye - a life can be changed.
At DCAC, we have been privileged to help thousands of individuals with disabilties navigate an often frustrating, confusing, and lengthy process of applying for or appealing CPP disability benefits. Our initial focus was to help people who had been denied, however over the last several years, we have been assisting individuals with their CPP disability applications and we are proud to say we have over 85% success rate.
A Facebook poster asked me why it is necessary for someone to pay for help in order to fill out government forms. I agree it shouldn't be necessary - but like you go to an expert to fill out your taxes - at DCAC we are experts in case-managing Canada Pension Plan disabilty applications. The CPP disability denial rate on initial applications is around 55% - our success rate illustrates why it is smart to obtain professional assistance to navigate the waters.
There are individuals who can manage on their own, but there are people who find the process completely overwhelming - those individuals who have brain injury or cognitive deficits - maybe English is their second language - maybe they do not have a great education so the forms are just daunting.
I feel that it is only a smart idea to get help right from the very beginning of the process. At DCAC provides value in the following ways:
- On the website we include a Canada Pension Plan disability Application kit which provides helfpul suggestions on making your application
- Our staff are experienced - you can see the level of accumulated experience when you read about our team. We understand the CPP disability legislation
- We have worked on thousands of cases and we understand how a disability application or appeal should be managed
- We provide all the service that you need seeing you right through the process - from application to appeal our work together will benefit you by achieving earliery approvals and assisting you to avoid common pitfalls of doing this alone
- We have all the available technology to support clients across the country - we have representatives across Canada
- We have years of accumulated contacts within the Canada Pension Plan - and we know who to call when help is needed
At DCAC - we have you covered - call us if you need help.
Thank you all very much for staying in contact with DCAC over the last couple of years. It has been a very busy time for us all here at DCAC and I now finally have some time to focus on keeping the blog entries current.
I would like to welcome you all to the new website - we hope that you like it and are able to get the information that you need to help you with your CPP disability matters.
My goal for this blog is to keep you updated on what is happening with CPP disability and to provide education and outreach if you are struggling to apply for CPP disabilty, or if you have been denied and need to appeal.
Over the last couple of years, there have been a number of newspaper stories on CPP disability which I would like to share with you all in the hopes that you will be well-informed to deal with the program.
In February 2016, the Auditor General of Canada, released its' findings on the Canada Pension Plan disability program - it was very scathing and a blessing to those of us who work within this system. Shortly after that report was released, the Minister instructed the reconstitution of the CPP Disability Roundtable and I was fortunate to be offered a seat at this table. This means, that I am able to speak up on behalf of the Canadians who have to deal with this system - and to offer my opinions on how the program can be more accessible. From the lengthy and complex application process - to the large denial rate - there are many good folk who are working towards change. I am looking forward to sharing some of the information on participation in this process. The Social Security Tribunal has recently been reviewed and we await the findings of the report due in Fall.
There is much to write about and over the next weeks I will be posting entries that I hope will be informative and interesting. Thank you for being here. Allison
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 firstname.lastname@example.org and I will be pleased to entertain your request.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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".