A note of appreciation for Canada Pension Plan adjudicators

Well this is a bit of a side step for me given the tone of my recent postings on this blog.

I would like to extend my apprciation to the Canada Pension Plan disability adjudicators who are working in their regions.  It is obvious from my discussions with many of these staff members across various regions in Canada, that they would like to do their best to make sure the clients are submitting the most thorough CPP disability applications and reconsideration appeals.

I have been writing letters to the Canada Pension Plan adjudicators and asking them to hold the reconsideration reviews,  until the clients have had an opportunity to submit all of the infromation they can to support their appeal (it is a client's onus).  Many of the adjudicators state that they understand the long delays clients will face if they are denied and appealing to the Social Security Tribunal and would also like to ensure that individuals are not stuck in this process.

There has been one or two that really could care less but for the most part I tip my hat to those case-managers who want to help the clients in the best way that they can - and work with the case-managers who are helping the applicants!

Again I cannot stress enough how important it is for you to make sure you have submitted a complete application and if you are denied - I would recommend you find a knowledgable person to help you with this administrative review by Canada Pension Plan.  The problem is - as you know - if you do not submit the best documentation that you can, and you are then denied by Canada Pension Plan - then you are faced with all the issues that I have written about in this blog.

 

Another article on the Social Security Tribunal.

http://news.google.com/news/url?sr=1&sa=t&ct2=ca%2F0_0_s_2_0_t&usg=AFQjCNGDF5A0bsmios3M05wo9b0kYpm8YA&did=33d65350e1c72008&cid=52778589824792&ei=DnD2U5DrILD98AHs5oCYCw&rt=STORY&vm=STANDARD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.winnipegfreepress.com%2Fcanada%2Fbacklogged-social-security-panel-stops-tracking-results-kenney-oks-more-staff-272165011.html

 

Here is another article written by Lee Anne Goodman of The Canadian Press.  Although the headline reads that the Social Security Tribunal is allowing more appeals - please note that the actual results are these:   Out of the 933 appeals that have been allowed - 775 were reversal of prior denials made by Canada Pension Plan ( in another words CPP disability overturned their decision to deny)  and  ONLY 158 were actual  decisions allowed by the Social Security Tribunal.

Of the 303 denials that were made by the Social Security Tribunal - 107 of these were Summarily Dismissed and 196 were denials as a result of appeals.

According to the documents that I have received under Access to Information - the tribunal held 465 tribunals since the inception.  The documents that state they "do not track" the results are sitting here next to me in my office.

Please people - it is time to speak out.  I know there are so many who call me and email me who are afraid to speak out for fear that it will hurt their appeal - and I understand that - but this has to change.  What has happened to good Canadian people is an absolute disgrace.  How can this government get away with treating hard-working tax paying Canadians like this?  Please speak out and put a face to these numbers.

Today I got an appeal date for a lady.  She does not speak English.  She has been offered a teleconference appeal.  She has been waiting since January 2012.  Really - even with an interpretor how is that fair?

AGAIN I just want to reiterate that I do not have any "beef" with the staff who work at the Social Security Tribunal. They are working hard I know this - and trying to move these deadlines.

 

I wonder what will happen tomorrow?  Stay tuned.

 

CPP Disability Benefit Time Lines

I have had several messages concerning the time lines at Canada Pension Plan.  I am not talking about the horrendus delays at the Social Security Tribunal, but rather the adjudication and processing times at Canada Pension Plan disability. 

These timelines are for adjudication on initial applications as well as time lines for adjudication on reconsideration appeals.

I confirmed with Service Canada today that the time lines are 26 weeks.  That means it is taking over six months for a decision on a CPP disability application or appeal.

 

Okay so I know from the Freedom of Information requests that I have made that the denial rate on initial is around 62%.  That means that it is going to take over six months for 6 out of 10 of you to be told that you are denied.  And of those people who go on to appeal, it is going to take another six months before you receive a decision on the appeal - and if you are denied again  - well then you are at the Social Security Tribunal.

From the information that I have read and have here in my office, there is a memorandum that notes that the Social Security Tribunal does not expect to be able to manage this backlog until 2017.  In fact I quote from a Memorandum to the Minister of Employment and Social Development from the Social Security Tribunal dated February 2014 states "Based on the early assumptions, the transferred inventory and newly acquired inventory (the backlog) would be eliminated at the earliest by 2017."

So there you go folks.   Please get help with your applications and your reconsideration appeals.  This is no joke. 

Please contact the office if you need help.

Madam Commissioner - Social Security Tribunal - I need answers to my emails

Perhaps there should be an investigation in to why there is no Information being received from the General Information Email that I am continually being told to use by civil servants and the Social Security Tribunal.  I think that I should bring to attention the fact that it is very challenging to prepare for appeals in an adequate way when I do not get information that is needed for these people.

I am told that this is the appropriate email to use in order to get information on upcoming appeals.

Well speaking to my last email I still have not got responses on these requests.

Further, I have an appeal coming up on August 7th, 2014.

I sent an email - marked it urgent - about the information that I have not received from the Social Security Tribunal which is needed so that the client and our representative can prepare for the appeal.

Okay so we have 18 days until the hearing - when will my emails be returned?

I cannot believe this - this would never happen at the old appeal bodies - why is it so darn difficult for this Tribunal to get it together.

Will the heaing be adjourned because the information was not received in a timely manner????????

 

Recent news articles Social Security Tribunal

With the recent newspaper articles that have been appearing in the national media over the last several weeks, you would think the Social Security Tribunal would be stepping up it's game.

Apparently this is not the case - I am wondering if a story could be written that could talk about the lack of information offered by this agency to the people who have to try and navigate the system.

I have been receiving a lot of calls lately - asking me questions because it will take three days for a client to get an answer from the Social Security Tribunal - and these phonecalls also include request for information on what they should do from MPs offices.

Most recently, I had asked to receive information on an appeal via email to a specific civil servant and was kindly told to email the general information line again.

I did that - and marked it urgent - the appeal is on August 7th.  To date I still have not got a response to my request for information.  In the end, I had to get the answer to my question from the department.

I have also sent two other emails on a file over the last month and I have not got a response - this client's file has an issue that I am trying to resolve - and yet I have had no response.

The last newspaper article written by Dr. Michael Prince has been shared over 1000 times - thank you.