Taking your CPP Disability Appeal to Tribunal

You’ve applied for CPP Disability, but Service Canada rejects your application. You then apply to  Service Canada with a request for reconsideration, but that gets rejected too. What options are you left with?

Your next step is to appeal to the Social Security Tribunal–General Division. Here’s an overview of the process.

Filing the Notice of Appeal

  • You’ll need to submit a completed Notice of Appeal – Income Security – General Division form within 90 calendar days of getting Service Canada’s decision (using the date on their letter).
  • The Notice of Appeal form will ask you to explain why you think the decision is wrong and how you can prove to the Tribunal that you should be eligible. You’ll also be asked to provide documents to support your position, if you have them.
  • You’ll attach the letter from Service Canada that denies your request for reconsideration.

What if I Miss the Deadline?

If you miss the deadline, you may be able to argue that your appeal should still be accepted. Ultimately, the Tribunal can’t accept an appeal if more than 12 months have passed since Service Canada’s reconsideration decision was communicated to you.

Building your Case & Submitting Documents

Once you have submitted your Notice of Appeal, the Tribunal will confirm that they’ve received it and provide you with information on your next steps. You’ll also receive a copy of the files that are related to your CPP Disability application. At this point, you can start building your case. This could include gathering:

  • Medical and specialist reports and evaluations
  • WSIB files
  • Documentation related to employment and job searches

From the time you submit your Notice of Appeal, you have up to a year to submit the documents and submissions that support your appeal.

Once you have submitted everything you plan to, you’ll submit a Notice of Readiness to let the Tribunal know that you’re ready for them to make a decision or ask you for more information.

The Tribunal’s Decision

A single Tribunal Member will be assigned to handle your appeal. Once your Notice of Readiness has been received, the Member will review everything and decide whether your case should be summarily dismissed or should proceed to a hearing.  A summary dismissal means that the Member thinks your case has no reasonable chance of success, so no hearing will be held. If this happens, you’ll have an opportunity to dispute it, and it can be appealed to a higher tribunal level.

If the Member decides to accept your appeal, the decision-making can happen a few different ways.

  • No hearing (all communications done through written questions and answers)
  • Videoconference hearing
  • Telephone hearing
  • In-person hearing (normally these take place, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in-person hearings are not being held right now. Instead, they are being done by Zoom or teleconference, or being postponed until other options are available.)

Ultimately, the Tribunal Member’s decision will be sent to you by mail. We’ll cover further appeal possibilities in our next blog post.

As you can see, appealing a CPP Disability decision is a complex task that requires a lot of time, focus, and energy. If you have come this far and are still fighting for CPP Disability benefits, working with a lawyer can be a huge assistance. At Van Dyke Law, we have years of experience in successfully advancing CPP Disability claims and it would be our pleasure to help you get the benefits you’re entitled to.