I take my position as a member of the government CPP Disability Roundtable very seriously. I feel having a seat at the table is very important so that I can express to the Ministry the difficulties that Canadians are facing as they try to navigate applying for or appealing disability benefits.
I am not biting my tongue today. I have emailed the Ministry regarding these unfair practices.
This one has to do with my least favourite adjudicator in the Chatham Region L.B. RN. The management know who this adjudicator is as I have complained many times over the years.
Client K.H. made an application to CPP disability and was denied (surprise!). He contacted my office to get assistance with his reconsideration appeal as he has no money and did not want to be stuck in the Social Security Tribunal appeal line up. So he wisely obtained help to have the best shot at reconsideration.
The client submitted the request for reconsideration - advising that he was obtaining assistance and that he wished to send in additional information in order to support his appeal. Again he asked the department to wait on making a decision until all information was received.
On January 11, 2018 we received a letter (dated January 2nd, 2018) from the L.B. at the Department stating that she wished to receive information within 30 days or a decision would be made. At that time, we had not even received a copy of the CPP disability file from the department to see why the client was denied and what information we needed to obtain in order to help with this appeal.
On January 16th, 2018 we received a copy of the CPP disability file. On January 29th, 2018 we submitted a request for additional medical information from the client's doctor to submit with his appeal and was advised that the doctor was away until February 5th, 2018. On February 14th, 2018 we received a medical support from the client's doctor and a submission with additional information for the appeal was sent to Service Canada on February 20th, 2018.
Yesterday in the mail I received two letters. One was dated February 2nd, 2018 (which I received one month after the letter was dated) which was a FINAL REMINDER saying we had 21 days to submit the information which by my calculation would have been February 23rd, 2018 and in a separate envelope another letter from L.B.RN dated February 22nd, 2018 denying this client's appeal. This government employee did not even contact our office in person to determine if we were sending in additional information. She just denied the appeal - if she had phoned our office - she would have been advised that additional information including additional medical information had been submitted on February 20th, 2018.
So now this is another client who has to appeal to the Social Security Tribunal because the department could not work with the client to ensure they have submitted all the that they can in order to support their appeal. Great meeting NO SERVICE STANDARDS. I think this should be dealt with. What is the rush to meet phony service standards when the way you are meeting service is to deny claims.
Speaking of which NO SERVICE CANADA - I have been phoning the 1-800-277-9914 number repeatedly - so far this week (it is Tuesday) I have called five times and been disconnected - cannot even get through due to high call volume. The office has been inundated with calls for Service Canada because people cannot get through and they are trying to obtain advice and information either on their disability benefit application or appeal - or simply to change an address - or enquiring where their taxation documents are. To those people who are looking to call No Service Canada I feel your pain. I cannot get the information I need. I cannot get through to anyone to speak to them about these ridiculous unnecessary denials. I will keep you posted. I have a few more tricks up my sleeve!