CPP Disability Appeal: Social Security Tribunal – Appeal Division

Learn about the CPP Disability Appeal to the Social Security Tribunal - Appeal Division
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August 19, 2019 by dcci

If applying for CPP Disability benefits fails and your appeal is denied at the Social Security Tribunal – General Division, you can apply for leave (permission) to appeal to the Social Security Tribunal – Appeal Division.

Please note, you do not automatically get to appeal to the Appeal Division. You will only be given permission to appeal if you convince the Appeal Division that your appeal has a reasonable chance of succeeding. Service Canada can also ask for leave to appeal if they disagree with the General Division’s decision.

However, there is an exception. If your case was summarily dismissed by the General Division, you get to appeal automatically without the need to obtain permission.

Before filing your Leave to Appeal Request, it is essential to obtain a copy of the hearing record. You can write to the Tribunal and ask for a copy of the audio record. We highly advise that you listen and review what took place at the hearing so you get an idea of what to prepare for the Appeal Division.

In this article, we will cover the following important notes:

  1. The Deadline To The Appeal Division
  2. The CPP Disability Appeal Division Application
  3. Reasons For Appeal
  4. What Counts As New Evidence?
  5. The Social Security Tribunal – Appeal Division
  6. How to Apply To Rescind or Amend a Decision
  7. Rescinding or Amending a Decision (Reopening)
  8. The Reopen Process

The Deadline To The Appeal Division for CPP Disability

Similar to the Reconsideration and the Tribunal – General Division, you also have 90 days from the day you receive the denial of your CPP Disability, regardless of whether you are applying for leave to appeal or appealing a summary dismissal. It is very important that you write the date you first found out about the decision on your application.

The CPP Disability Appeal Division Application

In case you get denied in the General Division, you can appeal by filling out an Application to the Appeal Division, which is available on the Social Security Tribunal’s website

If your case was summarily dismissed, you do not need to list the reasons as you as are able to appeal automatically. Please remember to fill in all mandatory sections because your application will not be accepted if it is missing any mandatory information. You must attach a copy of the General Division decision you are trying to appeal.

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Reasons For Appeal

At this stage, please be advised that the Appeal Division works much differently than the General Division. Firstly, you must state your reasons for appealing. The Appeal Division cannot just grant you appeal just because you disagree with the General Division’s decision. The law says that the Appeal Division can only allow your appeal if the General Division made certain types of mistakes. So we have listed them in simple terms here:

  • The General Division failed to observe a principle of Natural Justice

In simple terms, this means that the Principles of Natural Justice requires that the General Division utilize a fair process to assess your case and the person who was in charge of giving the final decision of your appeal is unbiased. To ensure the process is fair, the General Division must let you know the case against you and what evidence it will be considering, and then give you a fair chance to present your side of the story. If it failed to do so, you can include this in your reasons for appeal.

  • The General Division acted beyond its jurisdiction or refused to exercise its jurisdiction

This means that the General Division did something that it did not have the legal power to do or refused to do something it had the legal obligation to do.

  • The General Division made an error in law in its decision

This means that the General Division misinterpreted the law relating to your case. Often this will mean that the General Division applied the wrong legal test when deciding your appeal. When filing your leave to appeal, you can mention that there was an error with the law that the General Division used to apply to your case.

New Evidence

Generally, you are not allowed to introduce new evidence to the Appeal Division of which the General Division had not had the chance to go over.

However, there are exceptions. If you are alleging that the General Division breached the rules of Natural Justice, you will generally be allowed to submit new evidence to show what the General Division did wrong.

There is a separate process through which the General Division can reconsider its decision if you have new evidence, called “Rescinding or Amending a Decision”. Generally, this is the proper way to deal with new evidence.

The Social Security Tribunal – Appeal Division

Once you are given leave to appeal, there is no need to fill out a separate Notice of Appeal to confirm that you want to appeal. The Appeals Division will automatically move on and start the process of assessing your appeal.

However, getting the leave to appeal does not necessarily mean that you win; it just means that your case has reasonable chance of winning, and you now have an opportunity to fully present your case to convince the Appeals Division.

You will have 45 days to file written submissions arguing why your appeal should win. Note that this deadline starts running from the date the Appeal Division makes its leave decision. If you are appealing a summary dismissal, your written submissions are due 45 days after you file your Application to Appeal a summary dismissal.

Your submissions to the Appeal Division will likely look different than your submissions to the General Division.

This time, you need to focus on the mistakes in the General Divisions decision and/or why the process the General Division used was unfair. The Appeal Division is not required to hold a hearing, so your written submissions may be your last chance to state your case.

If the Appeal Division does decide to schedule a hearing, you will get a Notice of Hearing setting out the time and place, or instructions on how to connect by telephone. Keep in mind that the same rules about rescheduling or adjourning a hearing also apply in the Appeal Division. If the Appeal Division does schedule a hearing, it will be much different than your hearing at the General Division. You will not be presenting your evidence all over again or calling witnesses because new evidence is generally not allowed at the Appeal Division. Once again, you should focus on explaining the mistakes in the General Division’s decision or why the process the General Division used was unfair.

The Final Appeal Decision

The Appeal Division will make a decision after considering all evidence and submissions. If the Appeal Division decides that your case should win, there are a couple of directions it will take from here, the Appeal Division may take charge and decide that you have won the case, or it could send your appeal back to the General Division to amend any mistakes addressed in the appeal process.

If the Appeal Division denies your appeal, that will end your case.

Rescinding or Amending a Decision (Reopening)

If you discover new evidence and supporting documents that could have helped your case at the appeal level (whether it be General Division or Appeal Division), you can apply to rescind or amend a decision. You can apply directly to the appeal level that has made the decision of your appeal.

The biggest difference between an appeal and an application to reopen; is when you appeal, you go up a level (i.e. you appeal the General Division’s decision to the Appeal Division) but when you apply to reopen, you go back to the same level that made the decision.

How to Apply To Rescind or Amend a Decision

 You can apply to reopen a decision by filling out the Application to Rescind or Amend (Reopen on New Facts) form, which is available on the Social Security Tribunal’s website. 

You must make sure that all the required information is filled out or it will not be accepted. You must attach a copy of the decision you are trying to reopen. Once you have completed the form, you can mail or fax it to the Tribunal. Contact information for the Tribunal is listed on the form.

What Counts As New Evidence?

The Tribunal will only accept your new evidence if that is something that couldn’t have been discovered at the time of your hearing. It is your full responsibility to gather all new evidence and supporting documents as the Tribunal will not reopen the case later on.

Plus, the new evidence must be a legible material in the sense that it can affect the outcome of your case.

The Reopen Process

The Tribunal will send your application to the other people involved in your appeal, most often, Service Canada, to give them a chance to review and make amendments by a certain deadline. After the Tribunal gets everyone’s submissions or the deadline passes, the Tribunal will decide whether or not to hold a hearing. There is no obligation for the Tribunal to hold a hearing for a Reopen Application.

If the Tribunal decides not to hold a hearing, they will simply make a decision about your application and mail the decision to you. If the Tribunal does decide to hold a hearing, they will send a Notice of Hearing to everyone involved. The Notice of Hearing will set out what type of hearing will be held. The different types of hearings and the process for scheduling a hearing are discussed in more detail in the General Division. Check out the article CPP Disability Appeal Process – General Division.

At Disability Credit Canada, we take pride in helping disabled Canadians claim CPP Disability tax credit. Check out our other Resources

  1. The Ultimate CPP Disability Guide
  2. Long Term Disability Coverage through the Canada Pension Plan 
  3. CPP Disability Benefits Application Guide
  4. CPP Disability Benefits Frequently Asked Questions
  5. CPP Disability Denial and Appeal Overview
  6. CPP Disability Request For Reconsideration
  7. CPP Disability Request For Reconsideration Sample
  8. CPP Disability Appeal Letter Sample
  9. Top Reasons CPP Disability Applicants Are Denied

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