You are here
How do I appeal a decision about ODSP income support to the Social Benefits Tribunal?
Clear language definitions to common legal terms.
To appeal means that you ask the SBT to decide that the decision is wrong.
The SBT is not part of ODSP and has the power to make a different decision.
Before you start your appeal, make sure you:
1. Check the deadline for starting your appeal
You must ask for an internal review before you can start your appeal to the SBT. But you do not have to wait for an internal review decision.
You start your appeal by completing the SBT’s Appeal Form. See more in Step 3.
Deadline for sending in your Appeal Form
|After asking for an internal review||Deadline for sending Appeal Form to the SBT|
If you get a decision within 30 days of asking for an internal review
Send the Appeal Form within 30 days of the date you get the internal review decision
If you do not get a decision within 30 days of asking for an internal review
Send the Appeal Form within 60 days of the date you asked for an internal review
If the internal review decision was mailed to you
If the local ODSP office or the Disability Adjudication Unit mails its decision, the rules say that you get it 3 days after they mail it to you. So your deadline is no later than 33 days from the mailing date.
There should be a mailing date stamped on the envelope by Canada Post. It might not be the same as the date on the decision.
Always keep the letter and the envelope so you can prove when you got the decision.
If you miss the deadline
If you miss the deadline for sending in the Appeal Form, you can ask for more time. You should explain on the form why you’re late.
A community legal clinic may be able to help you if you need to explain why you missed the deadline.
3. Complete the Appeal Form
Part 1. General Information
This part of the form asks for:
- your name
- your contact and other personal information
- information about the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) office that you’re dealing with
Part 2. Internal Review Information
This part of the form asks you to fill in:
- the date of the original Notice of Decision
- the date you asked your local ODSP office or the Disability Adjudication Unit for an internal review
- whether you got an internal review decision
Part 3. Your Appeal
In this part, you say why you’re appealing by checking the boxes that apply to you.
For example, if you’re appealing a decision by the Disability Adjudication Unit, you check one of the following options:
- “They say I am not disabled.”
- “They say I am no longer disabled, as a result of a medical review.”
You also explain what you disagree with about the decision and why. You can attach extra pages. But you don’t have to give a lot of details.
You’ll get to explain more when you go to your hearing.
Asking for an interpreter
On the Appeal Form, you can ask the SBT to provide an interpreter at your hearing. This includes a sign language interpreter.
If the SBT can’t find an interpreter for you, talk to a community legal clinic. They may be able to help you find a professional interpreter.
Asking for “accommodation”
To give you a fair hearing, the SBT might have to do things differently for you so that you’re treated equally.
Some people call this "removing barriers" that go against your human rights. The legal word for this is "accommodation".
On the Appeal Form, you can say what kind of accommodation you need at your hearing.
For example, you might need to ask for your hearing to happen within certain hours because:
- you take medication that affects you more at certain times of day
- you follow religious rules and need to pray at certain times
4. Apply for interim assistance if you were on ODSP income support
Interim assistance is financial help you might be able to get while you wait for the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) to decide your appeal. But this is only if the decision you’re appealing is about cutting off or reducing your Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) income support.
If the SBT decides that you can get interim assistance, they order your local Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) office to pay it to you.
How to apply
If your application for income support was refused
If you’re appealing a decision refusing your application for income support, you can’t get interim assistance. But you can apply for assistance from Ontario Works (OW) while you wait.
5. Send your completed Appeal Form to the SBT
You can do this by faxing or mailing it to the SBT.
You can also take it to the SBT office yourself or have someone else deliver it for you.
About 2 weeks after you file your Appeal Form, the SBT sends you a letter with a file number.
Keep track of the file number as you will need it whenever you contact the SBT about your appeal.
Getting a Notice of Hearing
The SBT sends a Notice of Hearing to you and the office that made the decision you’re appealing. This usually happens 4 to 8 weeks after they get your Appeal Form.
The Notice gives the time and date of the hearing with the SBT. This could be several months later.
If you need to change the date, ask the SBT as soon as possible. Write to the SBT and:
- explain why you need to change the date
- suggest new dates that are within 60 days of when your hearing is set to happen
There are detailed rules about how to ask the SBT to change the date. You might have to contact the Disability Adjudication Unit or your local Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) office first, to ask if they agree.