3. Appeal to the Social Security Tribunal

If you don’t agree with Service Canada’s  decision, you can appeal to the  (SST). You must do this within 90 days of getting your reconsideration decision. The SST is separate from Service Canada and has the power to make a different decision.

Getting legal help

Appealing a decision to the SST can be difficult. Try to get legal help. If you need more information, contact a community legal clinic. They may be able to help you or refer you to someone who can.

How to appeal to the Social Security Tribunal

The SST has 2 divisions:

All appeals start at the General Division.

You can appeal to the SST only after you get a reconsideration decision.

To start your appeal, you complete a Notice of Appeal.

In the Notice, you say why you think the reconsideration decision was wrong. And you must attach a copy of your reconsideration decision to the Notice. If you can’t find your reconsideration decision, contact Service Canada to get a copy. You can contact a local office or call 1-800-622-6232.

Also, attach any documents that support the reasons why you think that you should be getting .

Email, fax, or mail the completed Notice of Appeal, a copy of your reconsideration decision, and supporting documents to the contact information listed on the Notice. Sending in your Notice of Appeal is called “filing”.

Even if you don’t have all your supporting documents, it’s best to file your appeal on time. You can send additional documents anytime in the year after you file your appeal.

Filing your Notice of Appeal late

If you want to appeal but missed the 90-day deadline, you should still complete and send your Notice of Appeal. But you must fill out section 6 called Late Appeal. In that section, you have to explain:

  • why your appeal is late
  • the steps you took that show that you always planned to appeal
  • the reasons why you think your appeal will be successful
  • why letting you file your appeal late is not unfair to Employment and Social Development Canada, which is the government department in charge of Service Canada

The SST decides whether or not to accept your appeal, based on what you’ve written.

If the SST refuses to take your appeal because it’s late, you can ask for permission to appeal this decision to the SST’s Appeal Division. This is called “seeking leave to appeal”. You must do this within 90 days. Read more in Step 5.

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