29 May 2014 16:20
This is the question I am asked daily.
I can provide you with the following information. The Tribunal are currently working on the oldest "legacy" cases that have come over from the old Review Tribunal. These are appeals numbered in the 113's and 114's - the last legacy cases were numbered in the 125's. If you are an appeal that was received by the tribunal in 2013 or 2014, all of the "legacy appeals" are going to be heard first. If you can demonstrate a reason why your appeal should be heard on an emergant basis - if you have a terminal illness maybe then maybe your appeal will be heard sooner. If you have financial hardship, you will have to demonstrate this - and it is likely that most of the appellants are in financial hardship.
The Tribunal will be tackling the oldest cases first and these appellants in the 113's and 114's likely applied for Canada Pension Plan disability in 2009 - 2010.
It is going to take some time for these files to make their way to appeal as they have 90 days when a Tribunal Member gets the file and schedules a hearing, to ensure that all documents are received - so this means any files assigned to a Member in June may not have hearings until September or October. It is my understanding that the Tribunal will have to handle these appeals in "chunks at at time" so they are manageable for the Tribunal Members.
So if you have a legacy appeal you can imagine if you are in the 120-125 you are going to be waiting a very long time.
One hope is that Canada Pension Plan agrees to settle the case so that an appeal is not necessary, however, all information still has to go through the Social Security Tribunal as this is where the file is currently managed. So if you have an appeal that is a legacy case- or any case for that matter - it is very important to make sure that you appeal is prepared and all information is submitted - perhaps the Feds will conceed.
I also wonder if it might be smart to withdraw your appeal and reapply to CPP disability as it may not take as long to have your application adjudicated - but then you have to consider that you will lose all of your arrears payments - plus there is the 62 percent denial rate - plus there is no guarantee that your new application would be allowed and then you are back where you started. It is an very hard decision to make.
Now I have mentioned the denial rates at CPP disability - so it is more important than ever that you put together a complete application - that you do not leave this to chance - that you get help with this. If you are denied and need to get a reconsideration - then you are plain out foolish to try and do this alone - especially given the situation I have described.