A client who I shall call Shelley was denied at the old Review Tribunal level.
Documents were submitted to the Appeal Division of the Social Security Tribunal requesting Leave to Appeal by courier on September 5th, 2013.
To date, I have not received any consideration on this matter. This is the answer I got from the Social Security Tribunal:
No decision on leave to appeal at this time.
This client phones me repeatedly, at least once a week asking what is going on with her case. She has no money for treatments, she is using her line of credit to pay for her medication. I requested information and al I am told is that there is "no decision on leave to appeal at this time" It is now five months since I have submitted these documents.
Another lady, let's call her Delia, she was successful at the Review Tribunal and was granted benefits, but within the 90 day appeal period, the Minister appealed the favourable decision and requested Leave to Appeal. Her hearing was heard at the Review Tribunal in March 2013 the same month as Shelley.
Despite documents being submitted by the Minister requesting the appeal, she still has not had a decision. It has been almost a year since she had her Review Tribunal hearing. This is the response I got back to my request for information via email just moments ago:
There has not been a decision made on the request for Leave to Appeal yet.
We will inform you when the decision has been made.
Social Security Tribunal
The gentleman I spoke of in my last blog his documents were submitted October 2013 and there has been no decsion by the department or Notice of Readiness submitted - so he just sits in limbo. This is what I was told:
We are waiting on the Notice of Readiness from the Minister. It appears as though the last mail we received from you was on October 23, 2013.
There is a ground swell of support coming through this office and I am very appreciative of all the calls and emails and the sharing of individual stories - from the people who are tyring to cope with this new 'efficient' system, the disability community, the various MPs officers of all stripes across the country, from the ex-panel members who have reached out, and the judges of the Pension Appeals Board, to the staff who are forced to work in the trenches (I know they are good people) to the opposing side of the fence, I thank you very much and to the 500 people who read this blog a week I am working my very best to shed light.
Yesterday I had a phone call from a fellow advocate who advised that one of his clients passed while waiting for a hearing - he appealed to the old Review Tribunal in May 2012 and died while waiting. I am so sorry to hear that but the advocate continues on for this man's estate - he was 62 years old - the information regarding his terminal condition was sent in to the Tribunal but it just sat there - there was no decision, no Minister's explanation why this man was denied. I was sad all night about this - it is so appalling. I thank you advocate for calling me.
This government is disgraceful in my opinion; from the senate scandals, to the way they have treated the vets, to what they are doing to people with disabilities, to cut backs to national disability organizations - I just do not get it. Let's all think about this today on budget day when the Feds tout their good work at balancing budgets - if only the majority knew what was happening to these good people of Canada stuck in this appeal system.