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How do I appeal a decision about ODSP income support to the Social Benefits Tribunal?

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How do I appeal a decision about ODSP income support to the Social Benefits Tribunal?

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Reviewed: 
November, 2016
Answer

If you disagree with a decision about income support from the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), you may be able to appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT).

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 can start your appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) as soon as you ask for an internal review.

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.

Reviewed: 
December, 2016

2. Get the Appeal Form

You must use the Appeal Form from the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT). You can get the form:

Reviewed: 
December, 2016
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3. Complete the Appeal Form

To start your appeal to the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT), you must 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:

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
Reviewed: 
December, 2016
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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

To apply for interim assistance, you complete Part 4 of the Appeal Form

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.

Reviewed: 
December, 2016
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5. Send your completed Appeal Form to the SBT

Sending your Appeal Form to the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) is called “filing” it.

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.

Reviewed: 
December, 2016

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