Allison Schmidt has devoted over 10 years to the persistent and compassionate protection of the rights of people with disabilities. Allison originates from Melbourne, Australia. She arrived in Canada in 1988. She began her career in the insurance industry working in the claims processing area. During this time period, she took many insurance industry courses becoming proficient in the adjudication of medical, dental, life, and disability insurance claims.
In 1995, Allison left the insurance industry to begin her academic study at the University of Regina where she achieved a Bachelor of the Arts Honours with High Honours in Psychology. She is still actively involved in academia, presently working on the completion of her Masters degree in Gerontology.
While studying at the University of Regina, she was employed by a local law firm who appealed the denial of disability claims. She founded the Disability Claims Advocacy Clinic Inc. in March 1998 upon noticing the increased number of denials of Canada Pension Plan disability benefits.
This observation became the start of her career in disability advocacy. She researched the Canada Pension Plan disability program, by undertaking Freedom Of Information requests. This story was highlighted nationally in the CBC radio story “Enemy of the State”. She has also been featured on local radio and cable television stations discussing issues related to Canada Pension Plan disability benefits.
Allison Schmidt has also made presentations to many support groups, conferences, and regional associations of chronically disabled individuals across Canada. In 2002, she was asked to attend in Ottawa to participate in a round-table discussion with the Sub-Committee on Status of Persons with Disabilities, who asked to hear recommendations on changes to Canada Pension Plan policy. Further to this, she returned to Ottawa to make a presentation to the Sub-Committee at their Canada Pension Plan Parliamentary Hearings.
Allison is also actively involved as Project Coordinator for the Saskatchewan Voice of People with Disabilities. Her research on abuse of women with disabilities has been instrumental in reducing barriers faced by women with disabilities in the Province of Saskatchewan. She is currently involved in the Steering Committee of a first of its kind provincial conference on Abuse of People with Disabilities to be held in October 2010.
Allison Schmidt has helped hundreds of individuals with her thorough understanding of the Canada Pension Plan administration, Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals, Pension Appeals Board. Her expertise in the field of Canada Pension Plan disability appeals, along with her extensive knowledge and experience, has effectively assisted her clients with quality representation before various levels of appeals.
Cheryl Chrysdale was born and raised in Southern Ontario and also spent several years living in British Columbia and Florida. She now lives and works in Toronto.
In 2012, she graduated from Herzing College with honours and became a licensed and insured paralegal in the province of Ontario.
Prior, she worked for years in senior administration as an Executive Assistant in the national newspaper industry until it underwent a major downsizing in 2009.
She brings enthusiasm, compassion and determination to her new role working with Allison Schmidt and DCAC to help bring justice and support to those in need.
Harvey Grigg has previously served as a tribunal member with the Office of the Commissioner of Review Tribunals, sitting on over 200 appeals in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario.
He is presently a tribunal member with the BC Mental Health Review Board and serves as a Public Member on the Board of the College of Dental Technicians of BC.
Aside from administrative law activities, he remains actively involved in his company, Diversified Project Services Ltd, in supplying safety and other project services to the construction industry.
Harvey holds his Bachelor of Science in Forestry from the University of BC and his Diploma in Business Administration from Vancouver Community College.
David Dewhirst has held several positions in his 38 years of employment with the Federal Government including Immigration and Visa Officer (posting India, Philippines and Poland); Investigation and Control Officer (Program Integrity Employment Insurance) and Client Service Officer (CPP/OAS Outreach throughout BC/Yukon).
For several years he has been employed contractually as the departmental representative at Review Tribunals for Service Canada (CPP/OAS). His contract with Service Canada ended in December 2012.
Active in the community, David is a coach for the Kamloops Run Club. He was previously a regional council member for the Canadian Red Cross and a board member of Kamloops Immigrant Services.
David is a current member of the College of Veterinarians of BC.