Social Security Tribunal Rules of Procedure
Whereas, under subsection 45.1(2)Footnote a of the Department of Employment and Social Development ActFootnote b, the Minister of Employment and Social Development has approved the making of the annexed Social Security Tribunal Rules of Procedure;
Return to footnote aS.C. 2021, c. 23, s. 221
Return to footnote bS.C. 2005, c. 34; S.C. 2013, c. 40, s. 205
Therefore, the Chairperson of the Social Security Tribunal makes the annexed Social Security Tribunal Rules of Procedure under subsection 45.1(2)Footnote a of the Department of Employment and Social Development ActFootnote b.
Ottawa, November 3, 2022
Le président du Tribunal de la sécurité sociale,
Chairperson of the Social Security Tribunal
Marginal note:Purpose of these Rules
1 (1) These Rules set out the procedure for appeals before the Tribunal. The Rules aim to help parties understand the appeal process and their roles and responsibilities. The Rules and the appeal process are meant to promote access to justice.
Marginal note:Tribunal’s authority
(2) The Tribunal decides appeals from reconsideration decisions made under
Marginal note:About the Tribunal
2 The Tribunal is an independent administrative tribunal. It consists of the members of the General Division and Appeal Division. The members are appointed under Part 5 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act. The Tribunal is supported by the Tribunal Secretariat. The Secretariat consists of employees of the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada. The Secretariat carries out some administrative tasks related to these Rules for the Tribunal.
Marginal note:Overview of these Rules
3 These Rules are set out in the order that they normally apply, but the order may be different in some appeals. Not every rule applies in every appeal. The Rules are divided into the following Parts:
(a) Part 1 sets out how to interpret the Rules;
(b) Part 2 sets out general rules about what the Tribunal can do and how it conducts the appeal process;
(c) Part 3 sets out the roles and responsibilities of participants and the Tribunal;
(d) Part 4 sets out how to file documents with the Tribunal and how the Tribunal handles documents;
(e) Part 5 sets out how to appeal, how the Tribunal handles late appeals, what language the appeal can be in and how the Tribunal adds parties;
(f) Part 6 sets out various procedures that may apply in the appeal process;
(g) Part 7 sets out specific rules for Income Security appeals at the General Division and Appeal Division;
(h) Part 8 sets out specific rules for Employment Insurance appeals at the General Division and Appeal Division;
(i) Part 9 sets out specific rules for hearings and decisions;
(j) Part 10 sets out how the Rules apply to appeals that are ongoing when the Rules start to apply; and
(k) Part 11 sets out when the Rules start to apply.
Marginal note:What Part 1 is about
4 This Part sets out definitions for terms and expressions used in these Rules. This Part also sets out how the Tribunal interprets and applies the Rules.
5 The following definitions apply in these Rules. To understand the Rules, it is important to first read the definitions and then refer back to them as needed.
appeal means an appeal under Part 5 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act. It includes an application for permission to appeal to the Appeal Division. (appel)
appellant means the person who appeals a reconsideration decision to the General Division or a General Division decision to the Appeal Division. At the Appeal Division, the appellant may also be the Minister or the Commission. (appelant)
argument means a submission that sets out a party’s point of view about what the Tribunal should do in an appeal. A party may file arguments with the Tribunal or make arguments at an oral hearing. (argument)
- business day
business day means a day that is not a Saturday, Sunday or holiday. (jour ouvrable)
Commission means the Canada Employment Insurance Commission. (Commission)
- contact information
contact information means
(a) an address;
(b) a phone number, if there is one; and
(c) an email address, if there is one. (coordonnées)
- Employment Insurance appeal
Employment Insurance appeal means an appeal from a reconsideration decision that the Commission made under the Employment Insurance Act. (appel en assurance-emploi)
evidence means something that a party presents to the Tribunal to prove a fact. It includes documents, photographs, video recordings and sound recordings that a party may file with the Tribunal. It also includes testimony given at an oral hearing. (élément de preuve)
- Income Security appeal
Minister means the Minister of Employment and Social Development. (ministre)
(a) the parties; and
(b) representatives, support persons, witnesses and interpreters who take part in an appeal. (participant)
(a) the appellant and the Minister, for Income Security appeals at the General Division;
(b) the appellant and the Commission, for Employment Insurance appeals at the General Division;
(c) the appellant and all other parties who were before the General Division, for appeals at the Appeal Division; and
(d) any person added as a party under section 33. (partie)
- permission to appeal
permission to appeal means leave to appeal a General Division decision to the Appeal Division under section 58 or 58.1 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act. (permission de faire appel)
- reconsideration decision
reconsideration decision means
(a) a decision that the Minister made under section 81 of the Canada Pension Plan, including a decision about more time to make a reconsideration request and a decision to rescind or amend a decision based on new facts;
(b) a decision that the Minister made under section 27.1 of the Old Age Security Act, including a decision about more time to make a reconsideration request; or
(c) a decision that the Commission made under section 112 of the Employment Insurance Act, including a decision about more time to make a reconsideration request. (décision de révision)
- reconsideration request
reconsideration request means a request for the Minister or the Commission to reconsider a decision under
Marginal note:How the Tribunal interprets and applies these Rules
6 The Tribunal must interpret and apply these Rules so that
(a) the appeal process is simple, quick and fair;
(b) the Tribunal considers the parties’ particular circumstances;
(c) every party can participate in the appeal process, even if they do not have a representative; and
(d) the appeal process is flexible and appropriate for what the Tribunal must decide in each appeal.
PART 2General Rules
Marginal note:What Part 2 is about
7 This Part sets out
(a) how the Tribunal conducts the appeal process;
(b) what happens if the Tribunal cannot reach a party; and
(c) how to ask for an accommodation.
Conducting the Appeal Process
Marginal note:Making the appeal process simple, quick and fair
8 (1) The Tribunal must make sure that the appeal process is as simple and quick as fairness allows.
Marginal note:Using active adjudication
(2) The Tribunal uses active adjudication as described in section 17(2) to help parties participate fully in the appeal process. This includes using methods other than the adversarial methods of adjudication the courts typically use.
Marginal note:If a party wants the Tribunal to decide on a procedure
(3) A party may ask the Tribunal to do or decide something as part of the appeal process. To do this, the party must file a request with the Tribunal. The request must set out what the party wants and why.
Marginal note:Adapting these Rules
(4) The Tribunal may adapt these Rules or decide that a party does not need to follow one or more rules if it is in the interest of justice.
Marginal note:If these Rules do not cover something
(5) The Tribunal may decide the procedure for anything not in these Rules or the Social Security Tribunal Regulations, 2022.
Continuing the Appeal Process Without a Party
Marginal note:Contact information on file
9 (1) The Tribunal uses the contact information it has on file when it contacts a party or sends a document to a party.
Marginal note:If the Tribunal cannot reach a party
(2) The Tribunal may continue the appeal process even if it cannot reach a party using the contact information the party gave it. The Tribunal may do this without giving further notice to the party.
Asking for an Accommodation
Marginal note:Definition of accommodation
10 (1) In this section, accommodation means an arrangement to remove a barrier so a person can participate fully in the appeal process. An accommodation must relate to one of the grounds set out in section 3 of the Canadian Human Rights Act.
Marginal note:If a participant needs an accommodation
(2) A participant must notify the Tribunal as soon as possible if they need an accommodation.
PART 3Roles and Responsibilities
Marginal note:What Part 3 is about
11 This Part sets out the roles and responsibilities of participants and the Tribunal.
Marginal note:Participants’ responsibilities
12 Participants must
(a) be respectful and help maintain a safe environment;
(b) be honest; and
(c) not act in any way that goes against these Rules, the Social Security Tribunal Regulations, 2022 or the appeal process.
Marginal note:How parties participate
13 (1) Parties are responsible for participating in the appeal process. This may include
(a) preparing documents;
(b) filing documents with the Tribunal;
(c) presenting evidence or arguments;
(d) attending a conference or a hearing;
(e) questioning witnesses; and
(f) responding to another party’s arguments.
Marginal note:Following Rules and directions
(2) Parties must follow these Rules and the Tribunal’s directions. This includes
(a) communicating with the Tribunal and responding to its requests; and
(b) meeting the deadlines the Tribunal sets out.
Marginal note:Keeping contact information up to date
(3) Parties must notify the Tribunal as soon as possible of any changes to their contact information.
Marginal note:What a representative does
14 (1) If a party chooses to have a representative under section 63.1 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act, the representative
(a) acts on behalf of the party by presenting their position;
(b) may represent the party for all or part of the appeal process; and
(c) does not need to be a lawyer.
Marginal note:How a representative participates
(2) A representative is responsible for participating in the appeal process in the same way that a party participates as described in section 13.
Marginal note:Sharing information with a party
(3) The Tribunal communicates directly with a representative. The representative must share information they receive from the Tribunal with the party they represent.
Marginal note:Keeping a representative’s contact information up to date
(4) A representative must notify the Tribunal as soon as possible of any changes to their contact information.
Marginal note:If a representative stops representing a party
(5) A representative must notify the Tribunal as soon as possible if they stop representing a party.
Marginal note:Definition of support person
15 (1) In this section and in Part 1, support person means a person who helps a party at an oral hearing by
(a) organizing their documents;
(b) taking notes for the party; or
(c) giving moral and emotional support.
Marginal note:How a support person participates
(2) A support person does not represent the party, but they may attend the oral hearing as an observer.
Marginal note:Sharing information with a support person
(3) The Tribunal does not communicate directly with a support person outside an oral hearing. A party is responsible for sharing information from the Tribunal with their support person if they want the support person to have the information.
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