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CHANGES AFFECTING CANADA PENSION DISABILITY BENEFITS

As of April 1, 2013, a body of the Federal Government’s Department of Human Resources and Skills Development; the Social Securities Tribunal, will begin dealing with any appeals after a reconsideration of a denial of an application for Canada Pension Disability benefits...

This independent tribunal will replace a current appeal system previously handled by a review tribunal and a pension appeals board.

There are some similarities between the Social Securities Tribunal and the previous system; however, where under the previous regimen, one was able to appeal by right to a review tribunal, as of April 1, 2013 there is no longer an automatic right of appeal to the Social Securities Tribunal. At the “General Division” the appeal application gets reviewed to determine if the appeal ought to be summarily dismissed without a hearing; if the appeal has no reasonable chance of success.

If the appeal hearing does take place in the General Division, the hearing is before one person rather than a panel of three as previously was the previous practice. The person does not have to be a lawyer, but will be able to obtain the services of a lawyer or medical professional for advice and assistance in the review of the medical records and the legal interpretation of the issues.

The hearing may be conducted in person, but it might also be conducted in written form or by video hearing.

The new “Appeal Division” is indeed an appeal in the truest sense in that it is not for the consideration of any new evidence, but a narrow review on limited grounds on which to appeal the decision from the General Division. s

At both the General Division and the Appeal Division, there are no longer automatic rights of appeal. At the Appeal Division the Applicant is no longer allowed to make submissions as if it was to be conducting a hearing all over again. This means that this independent appeal process forces the applicant to submit all the relevant documents and evidence to be relied upon at the outset before the initial application. A failure at this stage to properly submit evidence and documents may adversely affect the ability of the Applicant to proceed any further beyond the reconsideration stage.

 

For assistance with a personal injury and/or insurance claim, please email David Himelfarb at dhimelfarb@himprolaw.com or call 1-855-446-7765, for a free case evaluation.

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