CPP Disability Claims Advocacy Clinic



A change

by Allison Schmidt 01 April 2015 10:29

After 17 years of working in my current office location, DCAC is on the move!

This means that starting Good Friday, the office is going to be "off the grid" for a couple of weeks.

We will reopen in the new location on Monday April 20th, 2015.

I will still be available to be reached by phone and email but you may have to leave me a message.

Happy Easter to you all.



A spring day on the highway

by Allison Schmidt 31 March 2015 16:45

Well after a whirlwind of trips to hearings in March I am finally home for a while.  It is time to reflect on how everything has gone over the last month - and I have had the benefit to attend hearings in many different provinces in the country.

I have met some tribunal members that I have known for many years - and some new Social Security Tribunal members that I have met for the first time.

Firstly, I wish to compliment the majority of the tribunal members - they have all been excellent in ensuring the clients have a what I would consider a "good" hearing.  Whether the decision is favourable or not, I have walked out of the tribunal experience feeling like the clients have been heard and respected.  Each Tribunal Member has a slightly different style in regards to how they like to conduct the tribunal - but overall very good in terms of professionalism and comfort and care of the ciient.  That is what it is really about - the client experience - and the service to the client the tribunal member can provide during what is a very difficult and stressful time.  Given my experience with some of the bureaucrats at the Social Security Tribunal - I was worried that the "culture" of the Tribunal would reflect the way their "views" appeared to me in my conversations with some staff there - but I am glad that this has not appeared to have trickled down to the Tribunal Members who have really come to the table without judgment. 

Many of the people that I help, have really difficult stories - often a lot of crap has happened to them in their lives - and sometimes they have not managed in what one may consider an appropriate way - perhaps they have had addicitions, or incarcerations, or extreme mental illness that has led to real difficulties interacting with the average Joe.  Sometimes they can be obese and full of shame, sometimes they come impaired on whatever medications they have been prescribed - it can really be a challenge managing and like Forrest Gump - you never know what you are going to get.  It is a juggling act - trying to figure out how best to help and what tact to use, and how to make sure the Tribunal Member really gets to understand the "person in respect of whom the determination is made."  You have 90 minutes to do this - try condensing what is important to 90 minutes.  Some times I am privy to very personal and gut wrenching information - and you know sometimes there is information I am just not aware of until I meet someone face to face.

I have really appreciated that the tribunal members have attended these hearings without judgment - there has unfortunately been one notable exception - when the arrogance of the tribunal member was palpable.  I will figure out what to do about this situation - but need a minute to catch my breath. You can scold me but your arrogance and inflated sense of yourself is very unfortunate.  Just saying.  

I have been a vocal critic yes but I am also happy to speak out when I see how hard everyone is working there at the Tribunal.  I have lots of other thoughts but I am going to leave this blog entry as an overall note of appreciation.  Allison

Still Here

by Allison Schmidt 30 March 2015 13:48

Hello Everyone. 

I am getting emails asking if I am okay - and yes I am thank you.

I have just been run off my feet with all the appeals that are being scheduled by the Social Security Tribunal.

It is very busy here in the office and of course blogging becomes lower on the priority - perhaps that is the Fed's intention!!

Anyway, settlements still coming at a fast and furious pace.  I would say that all of the legacy cases are pretty well close to being done, and they are now turning their attention to those appeals filed in 2013 and even 2014.

The office is moving April 9th so that is going to be a very busy time for me.

You know where to find me if you need to ask any questions - allison

Questions in the House

by Allison Schmidt 26 February 2015 15:34

Way to go Canada

by Allison Schmidt 26 February 2015 11:43

The story that I have recently posted has now generated close to 300 comments on what is happening to other people in Canada.

Thank you to everyone who is speaking out.  Mr. McClure's story has started a fire storm of a response.

All the work, all the blog entries, all the calls, all the frustrations, all the support from all of you out there, all the encouragement I have received, all the kind words, all the prayers, I am overwhelmed each day by the emails that I receive. 

I want to thank Peter and Lee Anne, and Mr. G, and Mr. W. the Mr. P's and everyone out there who send me their stories.

I do not know how this will all pan out - but I do know the strength and ground swell of the people that is happening and it is a wonderful thing.

Don't stop believing - I know this sounds corny but it is true.

Another Article on Mr. McClure's denial

by Allison Schmidt 26 February 2015 08:59



There are 270 comments on this article.  I have not had the chance to review them all as yet - but thank you


Elimination of the SST backlog

by Allison Schmidt 24 February 2015 11:39

Good Day everyone.

I am writing this blg to share a new process that is happening regarding the elimination of the Social Security Tribunal backlog.

There is a special unit that has been put in place that are reviewing the CPP legacy cases thave have been waiting to have their appeals heard at the SST.  As you know, then Minister Kenney pledged to reduce the backlog by summertime - and this department in Gatineau, along with regional offices are working to sort through these files.

I think these appear to be just legacy cases at the moment - so this means - if you applied to have an appeal heard by the Review Tribunal and you were an existing appellant at the time of changeover - this will apply to you.

So the special unit is reviewing the appeal files and they are determining whether or not these files can be settled.  That means - approved without a hearing.  It was noted by the new minister in response to a question by Thomas Mulclair that the "special unit" is on track to have this backlog reduced by summer. 

So what will happen, is that you may get a call from a CPP case-manager who will say that they are going to Propose a Settlement on your file.  This means that the CPP are agreeing that you are disabled.  As you know, there are two parties to the appeal - you and the CPP disability - so this call means that CPP disability has agreed that you are disabled and that you meet the legislative criteria.

Now what will happen is that you will get a letter stating that the agree you are disabled and indicating the date of onset of disability - you will need to check this out - to make sure it is correct- also you will get a Agreement to sign, as well as a Withdrawal Notice.  The letters do explain why these documents need to be signed but if you are uncertain, give the CPP case manager a call.

This is good news for clients  and I am happy that the people are finally getting these appeals sorted. Now just to add my two cents - I find it very disturbing that all of these appeals have sat and all of a sudden because of the heat the Feds have been receiving, that these Canadians are being approved - just like that.  So many people have called my office recently in tears and shocked that this has happened, given that they had done everything previously to try and convince CPP disability that they were disabled only to be repeatedly denied.  I still think the treatment of these people is nothing but a disgrace and I just think it is election optics.   Do not forget what has happened to all of these people who have been devastated and bankrupted and even died while waiting for these appeals to be heard.  Just my two cents people. 

As I have said in my interview recently - the SST have touted that they have a 64 percent success rate - but this means that CPP disability got the decision wrong 64 out of 100 times.  How is that good news?

Good luck to you all - I hope you get a call.

Part Two Panel Discussion - Alberta Primetime

by Allison Schmidt 21 February 2015 16:29

Alberta Primetime Peter McClure's story - Please Share

by Allison Schmidt 21 February 2015 16:28



Here is the story on Mr. Peter McClure - please share.  Allison

Dozens of Gravely Sick Canadians denied speedy hearings

by Allison Schmidt 20 February 2015 10:49



Here is  another story that was printed yesterday.  It speaks to the issue of the story airing tonight on Alberta Primetime.

I know that the SST are aware of every blog entry that I post - this was clearly evident in the 1848 pages of information I received when I did a Access to Information request on myself - so head's up Commissioner and Vice Chairs and all the Directors there who appear to enjoy reading and commenting about my blog and my spelling - I hope someone from the tribunal has taken the time to reach out to this man and offer whatever help you can to get this appeal matter sorted for him. 

I know that everyone is working very hard to get the appeals scheduled - and that is great news - but at what prior cost?  There should not have been financial ruin and mental devastation for people who have been stuck in this system and denied benefits by this government.  And seriously - what "experts" are now reviewing the cases?  Do they have more expertise that the people who reviewed the files two times prior and denied them???  Shouldn't experts have reviewed these files to begin with?  Are you saying your staff was inept and you had to bring in "experts"?  What a joke.

I think that it will all become very clear as these stories continue to appear and people continue to come forward.

If you have had an appeal scheduled by the tribunal please find someone to help you.





by Allison Schmidt 20 February 2015 09:54

Tonight CTV 2 - Alberta Primetime Edmonton -6.00pm, 11.00pm Friday February 20th, 2015 - are running a feature on Peter McClure's story on being denied CPP disability benefits.

I have been asked to participate in a forum discussion to air after the feature on Mr. McClure.

I will post the link to the story when I can - please share - and please watch.

Let's all stand together and support Mr. McClure.

So to read this story on CPP disability denial

by Allison Schmidt 09 February 2015 09:12



I am posting this story on CPP disability and the denial of benefits.  I would like to extend my best wishes to Mr. McClure and his family.

This story illustrates the importance of understanding what happens when individuals apply for early retirement benefits available at at 60.

Mr. McClue was diagnosed with rectal cancer in the Fall of 2012.  He applied for CPP early retirement benefits in December 2012 and continue to work during this time period until another tumour was found on his lung in early 2013 - he stopped working on April 23, 2013.

When you take an early retirement benefit from CPP you MQP (the magic date - the date that you need to be found disabled by) becomes the month before you start taking early retirement benefits - this means in this case the MQP is November 2012.  Unfortunately, Mr. McClure was working at the time of the MQP and therefore he has been denied.

Another issue that comes up when individuals take early retirement benefits is that once you have collected these for 15 months - you are unable to switch them over to CPP disabiltiy benefits.  So many people take their early retirement to supplement their income and then in their early 60s become disabled and are then unable to switch these benefits over - I have numerous phone calls like these on a weekly basis.

I agree with Michael Prince - Mr. MrClure's case is not unusual.  Along with the excessive denial rates there is a complete lack of communication from the Feds in terms of how to make application for Canada Pension Plan.  I have written extensively on the importance of the MQP as well as what happens when someone takes an early retirement benefit.  Mr. McClure correctly states that these MQP rules are never made clear to most people when they apply for CPP disability.

My advice to Mr. McClure is to request an expidited hearing at the Social Security Tribunal - in this situation  - I feel the SST will do what they can to help this gentleman - but I do think he will continue to be denied because he is caught up on this legislative technicality with the MQP being November 2012.  Of course this would depend on his work activity after that date - was it regularly - did he have the capacity to work - etc. 

This is a really tough case to be sure - as obviously there is no doubt that Mr. McClure has a disability that is both severe and prolonged but as you know there is the third piece in the equation and that is the contributions and unfortunately the contributory rules.  The CPP letter suggesting that Mr. McClure does not have a disability that is both "severe and prolonged" is inaccurate that is for sure and I think the Feds could do a better job of helping people understand the reasons why they are being denied.  I think that there is little understanding about the rules when you take early retirment benefits.

I agree with Mr. McClure that the Feds need to be doing a better job - this system is so broken.

I wish you all the best Mr. McClure.

Kenney pledges to reduce the SST backlog

by Allison Schmidt 06 February 2015 19:22



This is the latest article on the Social Security Tribunal backlog.  It notes in this article that Minister Kenney pledges to reduce the backlogged cases by summer 2015.

While I certainly hope that this is the case, I find it difficult to understand how with the current resources that are available you could make your way through the approximately 11,000 appeals.  I feel there is a strong element of election year optics in play here and I will stand by my comments that leaving all of these people hanging and waiting and suffering is a national disgrace and should have been dealt with months ago. 

It is already February and there are say five months to July and I am assuming that is when summer will start.  So let's just make it six months until the end of August.  That is 180 days.  And if the backlog is 11,000 cases - then that means that the tribunal must hear around 60 cases a day.  I do not know how this would be possible given the requirements and procedures the appeal goes through before an appeal date.  As I have said in my previous posting - there is a 90 day document exchange - so that means that if Minister Kenney is going to reduce these back logs by the end of summer - all the hearings would have to be scheduled by March or April of 2015. Any way I will let enquiring minds decide whether this may be realistic or not.  

I do hope it happens because it is time that these people who have been waiting get their appeals settled.  

I hope they do well at the SST and get it done. I have concerns in that, I hope that the quality of the decisions will not suffer as a result of this frantic push to get these appeals done.

Also I fear that there will be telephone hearings and while this might be an efficient way to get an appeal heard I personally do not think this is best for the Appellant.  I just know from the hundreds of appeal hearings I have attended that it is best to see and speak to the Appellant in person.  I have also seen the statistics on the denial rates when a telephone hearing is conducted - I personally would avoid this option.  Read my previous blogs on the statistics they are noted. 

So if you are scheduled an appeal in the next little while, please get someone to help review this information.  As I have said in my prior emails it is very important that this appeal is managed well as you will have very limited appeal rights if you are not prepared for this tribunal. I worry that all the Appellants who have been desperate to get an appeal heard will end up shafted. And not because of the staff and Tribunal Members at the SST but because they will not be adequately prepared for the appeal process.  

Anyway, I wonder how things will unfold over the next little while - I know there is further investigations to see if this "pledge" that Minister Kenney is making is realistic and I wonder if Minister Kenney will end up regreting these statements.  

I will keep you posted - If you get an appeal hearing date - call or email the office and we will be happy to give you some pointers.  Allison


Hearings at the Social Security Tribunal

by Allison Schmidt 06 February 2015 10:12

The Social Security Tribunal continue to work hard to schedule cases.  It appears from what I am experiencing. that the legacy appeals are starting to move.  I know that I am seeing hearings scheduled for cases in the 121 - 123 range.  That is great news I am sure for many people who have been waiting for so long.

The first thing that will happen is that you will get a letter from the Social Security Tribunal advising that your appeal is now with a Tribunal Member and is ready to be heard.  Approximately four to six weeks later, you will receive by express post mail (you have to sign for it) a complete copy of the documents the Social Security Tribunal has on file.

You will receive a letter with your hearing date information.  It will tell you the type of hearing that you are going to have. As I have noted before, there are several ways for the Tribunal Member to conduct a hearing, they are a personal appearance, a video teleconference,  a teleconference, written questions and answers, and a hearing on the record.  Review what type of hearing that you are going to be given.  I would think twice if you have been given a teleconference hearing.  I think it is way better for you to have an in-person hearing or a video conference.  I have outlined my reasons why I feel this way in earlier blog entries.

If you want to change the format of your hearing - then you will need to write a letter asking for this to be changed - and if you are in this boat - please contact the office and I will provide some information on how to proceed with that.

The next thing you will note is that there is a document exchange period. You will be required to submit documents by a certain date.  At this time, you should review your file to determine if it is up to date with medical information.  You would need to submit documents within this 90 day exchange period.  I have had a client who was waiting for an appointment that fell within the 90 days but prior to the 30 day deadline that she had to submit her documents - so I wrote and asked for an extension and I have found that the Tribunal Members do their best to accommodate this - they want all the information they can get in order to help understand your appeal.

During this period you may also receive a submission from the Minister which is their position as to why your appeal should be denied.  It is important to review this information - and to determine how you are going to respond to this.  If you want to do a written submission it may help the Tribunal Member understand your position.  I would however, make sure that you have this reviewed by an expert to ensure that you are submitting helpful information that fall within the government tenets (I hope I have spelled that right VC).

I would like to compliment the Tribunal Members that I have met in recent months - some new - and some I know from the old Review Tribunal.  I think the hearings have been excellent - I think the Tribunal Members have been very well prepared and have done their utmost to ensure that the Appellants have a good hearing experience.  The only complaint I have are the locations of the hearings - I think they could be a little more comfortable for the clients but really that is a minor complaint.

Do not manage this appeal alone, get someone to help you through the process - it is a big hearing - there is a lot at stake.

Testimonials from recent clients!!

by Allison Schmidt 28 January 2015 11:35

I am very pleased with the service provided by Allison.  She is truly dedicated to the cause of the disabled and disadvantaged.  Prior to my disablement by multiple sclerosis, I worked in a social services office and was well versed with different processes of getting disability benefits.  I proceeded with my own claim for CPP with just the help of my doctor and a social worker.  The process was very daunting, and Service Canada was of little or no help.  My original submission was woefully inadequate and I was denied.  I applied for reconsideration and did more research.  I found that like all things government, one needs to draw a detailed roadmap for the government employee doing the work in order to have any chance of success.  Even with my experience, I was not up to the challenge; I needed someone who was.  My research led me to Allison, and she took on my claim.  Within three months of her starting work on my claim, I got a favourable decision and am now receiving from CPP the benefit of my contributions that I paid during my working years.  The roadmap that she drew was painstaking accurate and detailed.


For those who are considering whether to hire an advocate, I can only say this:  Don’t go it alone.  When you go it alone, you have to do all the heavy lifting; you cannot expect nor does the law state that Service Canada has to do any of it for you.  You cannot just drop a stack of medical records in the adjudicator’s lap and expect them to spend all the time needed to make sense of it in a manner that is in your favour.  This is what they are supposed to do, but it will not happen unless you also have that expertly drawn roadmap.  Allison can provide that roadmap for you.  Please remember that CPP-D is not welfare.  If you have contributed to CPP, can meet the contribution and time tests and can no longer work due to disability, you have an entitlement to a benefit.  Don’t give up, call Allison and let her help you.  I cannot thank Allison enough for her time and effort.


Thanks again Allison for all your time and effort.




I have simple advice for people with disabilities, if you looking for help and you lucky enough to find DCAC, than you are on the right truck. Trust Allison and simply FORGET THE REST because she is definitely THE BEST. Mr. Z.Z. 


Thank you to both these clients.  I appreciate your words of recommendation.

Hey Canada Pension Plan Disability

by Allison Schmidt 23 January 2015 10:15

Here is a brain wave for you.  How about you fix your problems in the processing departments?

Over the last several weeks I have been phoning Service Canada to advise the CPP medical adjudicators on file that there is additional information coming to help support a client's request for appeal.

Consent to Communicate has been sent to the department some time prior - in many cases up to six weeks prior - I have just been told today, that the processing time to add a consent to a file is two to three months and that is because they are so busy. 

So does this mean it is taking two to three months for any new information to get to the CPP disability adjudicator?  No wonder appeals are being denied when the adjudicators do not have the totality of the information on file for them to review.

If the consents are not added to the file, then I cannot even advise the case-managers that there is additional information to support the appeal.

No wonder the Social Security Tribunal has such a back log of appeals.

There was a recent study commissioned to determine how to reduce the backlog. The report was supposed to have been presented to the SST on November 28th,  Perhaps they should have just consulted with the people who work in this system.  But why would they want our opinions?

Hey Canada Pension Plan you need to start increasing your processing times and ensuring documents received are added to files in a more timely fashion. This may indeed stop people being denied. 

The next step is to start appealing these decisions under Section 66(4) of the Canada Pension Plan Act which states that:

Where the Minister is satisfied that, as a result of erroneous advise or administrative error in the administration of the Act, any person has been denied:

a)  A benefit, or portion thereof, to which a person would have been entitled to under this Act.

Thank you Mr. W.


Scheduling of Hearings at the Social Security Tribunal

by Allison Schmidt 20 January 2015 09:40

A quick entry to update those people who are currently waiting for appeals at the Social Security Tribunal.  I am speaking to those appellants who are Legacy Appeals - they are those who were at the Review Tribunal at the time of changeover to the Social Security Tribunal.

I have over the last two weeks received dates for hearings for individuals whose appeals are numbered 122 - 123.  

So these individuals had probably applied to the Review Tribunal to have their appeal heard in around early 2012.  These hearings are also being scheduled for the May - June 2015 period. 

Still a huge back log  waiting - all of the remainder of the legacy cases - they are numbered up to 125 and all of the Appeal GP-13 and GP-14.  But progress - finally  progress.

I would also like to caution people on two things - firstly - if you have an appeal scheduled at the Social Security Tribunal please get help with this.  It is just plain foolish to try to manage this type of appeal alone.  There is too much at stake and with very limited appeal rights if you are denied - you may just be done being able to apply for CPP disability again.  Also, be careful who you choose to help you.  There are individuals out there who claim to be able to do this work - I have written in prior blogs about the questions to ask if you are looking for someone to help you.  If you like, you can call this office and ask me.  I would rather help you decide than you rely on someone who does not have the expertise.

Secondly, try not to get to this level of appeal.  If you have been denied CPP disability, get help at the initial stages of application and for sure at the reconsideration appeal.  My staff and I can help prepare and audit your CPP Disability applications.

Statistics of Reconsiderations

by Allison Schmidt 07 January 2015 15:57

Yesterday I received information concerning Reconsideration appeals to Canada Pension Plan.  If you are a follower of the blog, you will have read my complaints about the stupid denials I have been receiving from certain regional offices.  I decided to request information to determine whether the trend of denials could be supported by actual figures and that is the what I received yesterday.

In 2013 -2014 fiscal year, there were 13,841 requests for reconsideration received by Employment and Skills Development Canada.  This is your first level of appeal.

Out of the 13,841 appeals received 8,564 were denied - this is a 61% denial rate.

Now that is not really surprising to me because that is what the denial rate seems to hover around.

What is surprising to me, is that in the Ontario region, they received 7,586 requests for appeals and they maintained the denial of 5,216 of them.  That is a whopping 68 percent denial rate.

So back to the stupid denials.  Many of those DCAC has received in the last several months, the Medical Adjudicator - has not waited for the additional information they were advised was being submitted in order to add more support to the appeal.  They have simply denied them without waiting, without contacting the client, without contacting anyone to ensure that the client is ready to proceed with the appeal.  And I do not have to tell you where these denials are coming from - you guessed it - CHATHAM ONTARIO.

In documents I have reviewed, it is noted that part of the Federal Government's response to reducing the horrendus 11,000 appeal back log at the Social Security Tribunal is to ensure proper adjudication at the administrative level - that is the reconsideration level.  So may I suggest to the Ministry that they check this issue out.  The client I am looking at right now there is no indication in the file that the client was even phoned to ask if there was additional information and despite a letter that had been sent to contact my office, there was no phone call to me either.  The decision to deny this benefit was made on November 28th this was despite a phone call to Service Canada to advise them that additional infomration was forthcoming and was sent on December 4th.  Is there miscommunication between the Service Canada office and the CPP Disability office?

A.L. Medical Adjudicator in Chatham office, that is just not cool - do your job - develop the file - it is not at all fair to this client who will now be stuck in the SST back log.



Some News for the New Year on the Social Security Tribunal

by Allison Schmidt 06 January 2015 13:58

Happy New Year to my clients, colleagues, and friends.

I just wanted you all to read this recent article in the Globe and Mail.  Some may suggest that only 1/3 of the Social Security Tribunal members having ties to the Conservative Party means that 2/3's of the members must have ties to the other political parties - but you will note in the article it states:

"According to the analysis, there's scant evidence any tribunal member has donated to ANY OTHER PARTY other than the Conservatives."

Here is the link:



Do you know that under the prior system we had tribunal members and judges who were well-experienced based on years of work with the appeal system - it begs the question as to why this was changed,  The old tribunal ran under the Conservative government and those appointments seemed to be appropriate and I completely disagree with Kenney's spokeswoman who suggests that this is a "marked improvement over the former system which had no comprehensive selection process whatsoever."  Hmm????  I am sure the well-experienced Federal Court judges and previous Tribunal Members who sat on the previous Tribunals would disagree with her comments and frankly find them insulting- give me a break and nice spin- yeah "you changed it" alright.

So have a think about who is hearing your appeals?  The tribunal members that I have dealt with under the new system have been very good.  I cannot complain.  But I also find it interesting, that all of the tribunal members DCAC has had at the SST hearings, have been previous tribunal members under the old system (what few there are). 

Get help please, do not proceed alone.  In my last blog, I talked about how experience matters when dealing with CPP applications and appeals.  We have the experience here at DCAC of that I am confident. The quality and experience of the staff includes prior tribunal members, paralegals, legal consultants, and prior CPP disability employees.  I have been very blessed to have a group of people who care about the clients and who have sought me out to work with this office because they have seen first hand, how the benefit of excellent case-management, ensures that the client has the best possible information to present when they apply for CPP disability or have to appeal the decision.

If you are at the Social Security Tribunal level, you know that you are going to be in for a very long wait.  I would take this time to make sure that your case is managed, all the information is marshalled, that you have the best possible opporutnity to convince the Tribunal Member that your appeal should succeed.

The staff here at DCAC are very happy to provide a free case assessment.  It will cost you nothing to make sure that you are heading in the right direction.



Experience Counts - Choose wisely

by Allison Schmidt 23 December 2014 09:27

I am now entering my 17th year of case-management work for individuals who are applying for or have been denied Canada Pension Plan disability benefits.

It was recently suggested that people like myself, were "taking advantage" of people with disabilities because we charge a fee for the services that we provide and that most people could do this work for themselves for free.

Some agencies have suggested that they know the proper terminology that needs to be used in order to get results, or that they were experienced in directing doctors on what words to use in medical reports in order to get results.  As well, that the CPP disability adjudicators need to see the "proper" words in order to be approved.

There are also some agencies who feel they have the capacity to do this work with little or no experience.

It takes a very long while of working within this system to know how to manage applications and appeals.  Before you decide or who it is you are going to get to help you with this process, please ensure that you have done your homework and determined that the service provider you engage has the necessary experience to help you.  You should ask any agency or service provider what there experience is in the system, how many appeals and applications they have completed, and how many appeals they have attended and what their success rate is.  You should ask them how they plan to approach the management of your file, and how they are going to engage your medical health practitioners.  You should ask them if they have any experience dealing with your medical condition, and if they have, how have they managed this appeal.  Ask them how many years they have been working in this system and what can they offer to help you through the process.

The government and constituency offices who suggest that service providers are taking advantage of people with disabilities well that could not be further from the truth and perhaps those haters should remember that it is their own political party that are taking advantage by not approving the applications and appeals and continuing to maintain a 60% denial rate.  If the government adjudicated these applications appropriately, why would a service to help be needed?   Best to not throw stones.

This process is very complex and it is best not to try and manage this alone.  Saying that people could do this alone - well it is true - but it is not smart. Especially now with the new appeal system and the significant delays I would caution most people to get help with this process.

I would also like to say that having doctors use the "proper terminology' is not the greatest way to manage a medical report - if a letter states that a client's disability is "severe and prolonged" I feel that this provides little help to the overall application or appeal.

Also the information on this website and posted on this blog is copyrighted.  If you would like to use this information in your literature or websites please contact my office.

I would like to wish all the followers of this blog a Merry Christmas.  It has been a challenging year but it is my hope that 2015 brings some welcome changes to the CPP disability landscape.  Take care. Allison


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