1. Ask for your OAS file

It may not be clear in the decision letter you get from Service Canada why they decided that:

  • you weren’t eligible for , or
  • you can get only a certain amount of benefits.

If this happens, you may want to order a copy of your OAS file. You can do this because of a federal law called the Privacy Act.

Getting your file can help you figure out why Service Canada made its decision and what you need to include when you ask for a . See more in Step 2.

But whether or not you get your file, make sure you ask for your reconsideration within 90 days of getting the decision letter from Service Canada.

How to get a copy of your file

You make your request to the Access to Information and Privacy (ATIP) Coordinator of Employment and Social Development Canada. This is the formal name of the government department that’s in charge of Service Canada.

You can make the request online. Or you can fill out the Personal Information Request Form and send it to the ATIP Coordinator.

The law says that the ATIP Coordinator must reply to you within 30 days of getting your request for your file. They will either:

  • give you your file, or
  • send a letter explaining why they need more time to send your file.

In some cases, parts of your file may be missing. If this happens, the ATIP Coordinator must explain why. The legal term for information being missing is “redacted”.

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