Social Security Tribunal of Canada

Annual report for the 2023 to 2024 fiscal year: Empowering people to participate fully

Message from the Chairperson and Executive Director

The Social Security Tribunal (SST) conducts hearings on traditional Indigenous territories across Canada. Our Secretariat is in Ottawa, on the unceded territory of the Anishinaabe Algonquin Nation. As a small step along the path of reconciliation, we take this opportunity to show our gratitude and our respect for the land where we work.

People come to the SST to challenge government decisions about their Employment Insurance, Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security benefits. These benefits are an essential part of Canada’s social safety net. People want an appeal process that’s simple, quick and fair.

This year, we worked to reduce appeal backlogs. We welcomed new members (decision‑makers). We reassigned members internally. We found efficiencies. We’re happy to report that we’ve largely eliminated appeal backlogs across the SST. There’s a trend toward more timely decisions.  We’re in a good position to deliver on our service standards in the coming year.

Interim Chairperson, Shirley Netten. Executive Director, Anab Ahmed

Changes in the law took effect in December 2022. This year was our first full year applying new Rules of Procedure opens a new window and new appeal processes for Income Security appeals, including fresh (de novo) hearings at the Appeal Division. Credit goes to our members and staff for a smooth transition.

We also now have a regulation opens a new window ensuring that everyone appealing to the SST can choose the type of hearing for their appeal. The exceptions are very limited.

Changes to the Employment Insurance (EI) appeal process are coming next. First-level appeals will be heard by the EI Board of Appeal instead of the SST. Second-level appeals at the SST will be simplified. We’ve been busy preparing for these changes, which will take effect on a date set by order of the Governor in Council.

Alongside backlog reduction and process changes, we continued our focus on delivering justice that puts people at the centre. Empowering people to participate fully in the appeal process is at the heart of what we do. In this report, we have a section dedicated to accessibility and inclusion at the SST. We also highlight recent initiatives to help us be more efficient, transparent and collaborative.

We invite you to learn more about the work we do by reading about this year’s initiatives, reviewing our decision highlights, and diving into our numbers.

Shirley Netten signature

Shirley Netten

Chairperson
Social Security Tribunal

Anab Ahmed signature

Anab Ahmed

Executive Director, SST Secretariat
Administrative Tribunals Support Services of Canada

Year at a glance

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We completed 8,428 appeals

  • Income Security
    • General Division 2,644
    • Appeal Division 202
  • Employment Insurance
    • General Division 4,732
    • Appeal Division 850

Hearing type

  • 15% in person
  • 55% by teleconference
  • 25% by videoconference
  • 5% in writing

We surveyed appellants to find out how satisfied they were with the appeal process.

  • 97% felt they were able to participate fully in their hearings
  • 95% were satisfied overall

86% of appellants didn’t have professional representation

  • Self-represented: 73%
  • Represented by a friend or family member: 13%
  • Professional representation: 14%
  • Navigators
    • 2,788 people used our navigator service
    • 100% of users surveyed agreed that their navigator helped them feel more prepared and confident
  • Our call centre processed 17,612 calls
  • We published 1,855 decisions opens a new window
  • Our website got 48,583 visits overall (with 27,918 unique visitors)

Who we are and what we do

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  • General Division
    • Income Security: Hears appeals of Canada Pension Plan and Old Age Security reconsideration decisions
    • Employment Insurance: Hears appeals of Employment Insurance reconsideration decisions
  • Appeal Division: Hears Employment Insurance and Income Security appeals of General Division decisions

The SST decides appeals about these benefits:

  • Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability and other CPP benefits
  • Old Age Security (OAS), including the Guaranteed Income Supplement
  • Employment Insurance (EI)

The SST has 2 levels of decision-making and is led by a chairperson and 3 vice-chairpersons. At the end of the 2023 to 2024 fiscal year, we had 75 members.

We’re supported by the Administrative Tribunals Support Service of Canada (ATSSC). Our Secretariat, led by an executive director, has about 200 employees. They provide us with registry, legal, outreach, evaluation, member and corporate services.

Accessibility and inclusion at the forefront

We want to provide an inclusive and accessible appeal process and an environment where everyone can participate fully in appeals. What’s more, we want to be proactive in our commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion. Here are some highlights of the strides we made in these areas this year.

A stronger accommodation and accessibility policy

We strengthened our accommodation and accessibility policy. To address any gaps in our former policy, we consulted with:

Based on what we heard, we updated our policy by:

  • setting out our commitments
  • reminding people that they have a right to accommodation at the SST
  • including the SST’s role and responsibilities
  • adding a non-exhaustive list of ways we may be able to accommodate
  • creating an accommodation request form people can use to tell us what they need
  • explaining how we can address barriers that aren’t related to the grounds of discrimination opens a new window set out in the Canadian Human Rights Act opens a new window.

More inclusive forms

We updated our application and appeal forms to include a section where appellants and representatives can identify their pronouns. This acknowledges the importance of respecting diverse gender identities. It supports a more inclusive appeal process.

A robust equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) framework

To advance our commitment to EDI, we developed a robust framework centred around 5 core pillars:

  • leadership
  • a safe workplace
  • representation
  • awareness
  • service to the public

The framework draws on principles like shared responsibility and “nothing about us without us”—the idea that you can’t make a policy about a group without involving that group.

We’re looking at ways to support the core pillars and will implement this initiative in the 2024 to 2025 fiscal year. We’ll monitor and report on our EDI progress to be transparent and accountable.

Gender-based analysis plus (GBA+)

This year, we gathered socio-demographic data to better understand the people who use our service. The data will help us identify and reduce barriers for specific population groups. It will give us the level of understanding and perspective we need to make our appeal process as accessible and inclusive as possible.

Our evolving website

Having an accessible website is very important to us. That’s why we added an accessibility menu. It lets you personalize how you view the website. Among other things, you can:

  • make the text bigger
  • play with the contrast
  • change the spacing between lines or letters

The icon is in the bottom-right corner of every page on our site.

Accessibility menu icon

What’s more, we understand people absorb information differently. So we’re working on adding videos to give people another way to get the information they need. We plan to make short, easy-to-understand videos that address specific challenges in the appeal process. To come up with topics for our videos, we rely on client survey data and input from ISACC and EIACC stakeholders. Stay tuned for our first video!

Other initiatives

Tailored deadlines for CPP and OAS appeals at the General Division

Our efforts last year with early and active case management taught us that not all appeals need the same amount of time. This year, we started to tailor the Income Security appeal process at the General Division according to the type of appeal. For most CPP disability appeals, appellants now have 8 months to send us their documents. For other CPP and OAS appeals, most appellants now have 3 months.

With tailored deadlines, people won’t wait longer than necessary for their decisions.

Two new ways to start an appeal

This year, we gave people more options for how to start their appeals to the SST.

My Service Canada Account: As of November 2023, people can start their Canada Pension Plan (including disability) and Old Age Security appeals to the General Division using their My Service Canada Account (MSCA). We’ll evaluate the success of this initiative to see whether we should expand it in the future.

Guided pathway: Community Legal Education Ontario launched a new tool for people who want to appeal CPP disability decisions to the General Division. The guided pathway opens a new window walks the appellant through filling out their notice of appeal form electronically. When they’re done, the tool generates a completed form that they can submit to the SST.

Working with community stakeholders

This year, we continued to work closely with our Income Security Appeals Consultative Committee and Employment Insurance Appeals Consultative Committee partners to exchange information and gain valuable insights. This helps us identify barriers and challenges in navigating the appeal process.

To support access to justice, we hosted virtual sessions where we shared legal information about EI and CPP disability appeals. Participants included law students, paralegals, community justice workers and other advocates. We also held general information sessions with organizations interested in learning more about our services.

Evaluation: How to keep improving

Evaluating our work is a priority for us so we can find ways to improve our service and stay accountable.

This year, we evaluated our navigator service opens a new window at the Appeal Division. This involved telephone interviews with a sample of former navigated parties. Their feedback will help us improve our navigator service.

We also had our decisions and letters reviewed externally to see how we can use more inclusive language. The external reviewers looked at a sample of over 50 documents. We got some recommendations to help us continue to make sure the language we use is accessible and inclusive. Here are some examples:

  • Use the language alternatives provided in the report
  • Create guiding principles for gender-neutral language in French
  • Train members and regularly review our progress

 We created a management response and action plan to help us put these recommendations into practice.

Focus on transparency

We regularly develop and update policies to make our processes as clear as possible.

This year, we created a policy for reimbursements and allowances. In special situations, the SST Chairperson can reimburse a party’s travel or living expenses (like lodging, transportation or parking costs) and pay allowances (like lost wages). This new policy explains what the law says and how the Chairperson makes decisions about reimbursements and allowances.

We also published a policy for three-member panels. Appeals at the SST are usually heard by 1 member. In some cases, the Chairperson may choose to have 3 members hear a specific appeal. This new policy outlines the types of appeals that may be suitable for a three-member panel and how the panel gives its decision and reasons.

We clarified our process for making a complaint about a member. In some situations, people can make a complaint if they feel that a member has violated the member Code of Conduct. The updated process has examples of what people can and can’t make a complaint about. It also explains that a complaint won’t change the member’s decision. We publish a summary of complaints we deal with under the complaint process.

Decision highlights

Income Security appeals

Most Income Security appeals are about the CPP disability pension. These appeals typically focus on the CPP’s test for being disabled: whether the person is “incapable regularly of pursuing any substantially gainful occupation.” If the person has a job, the member may have to consider whether it is a “real” job.

CPP disability pension – Benevolent employer

The Appellant had been receiving a CPP disability pension. The General Division decided that he was no longer disabled. He worked part-time and earned above the “substantially gainful” threshold, as defined in the law.

The Appeal Division found that the General Division hadn’t considered the Appellant’s work output and performance, or the employer’s expectations of him. These factors were relevant to deciding whether the employer, who was the Appellant’s son, was a benevolent employer. After interpreting the relevant parts of the CPP, the Appeal Division concluded that the Appellant’s earnings were from his son, not from an “occupation.” In other words, the son was so accommodating that the Appellant’s earnings didn’t show that he was employable in the real world. The Appeal Division decided that he was still disabled and entitled to his CPP disability pension: SI v MESD, 2022 SST 1237 opens a new window.

This year, the Federal Court of Appeal (FCA) found that the Appeal Division decision was reasonable: Canada (Attorney General) v Ibrahim, 2023 FCA 204 opens a new window.

People sometimes dispute the start date for their CPP disability pensions.

CPP disability pension – Retroactive payment of benefits – Incapacity

A person can’t get CPP disability payments more than 11 months before they applied unless they were “incapable of forming or expressing an intention” to apply earlier. This is known as the incapacity test. The SST and the courts have interpreted it strictly. A person can have a severe and prolonged disability but not meet the incapacity test. Generally, if a person can form or express an intention to make decisions in their life, they’re considered capable of applying for CPP benefits. This was the case in DS v MESD, 2023 SST 1090 opens a new window.

OAS appeals are often about the length of time a person resided in Canada.

OAS pension – Determining years of residence

To get an OAS partial pension, people applying from outside Canada need 20 years of residence in Canada. A person “resides” in Canada if they make their home and ordinarily live in any part of Canada. There are many factors to consider in assessing residence. In this case, the General Division had to look at a period of 45 years. It considered the strength of the Appellant’s ties to Canada during 3 sub-periods. In the end, it decided that the Appellant had resided in Canada for less than 18 years, so he couldn’t get an OAS pension: YM v MESD, 2023 SST 1963 opens a new window.

In December 2022, the criteria changed for getting permission to appeal an Income Security decision to the Appeal Division.

Income Security – Permission to appeal – New evidence must be relevant

One of the new criteria for getting permission to appeal an Income Security decision is having evidence that wasn’t before the General Division. The Appeal Division has said that the new evidence must be relevant to the issue it needs to decide. For example, a person who wanted a CPP disability pension didn’t get permission to appeal despite providing more medical evidence about their disability. The issue was whether their appeal to the General Division was late, so the new evidence wasn’t relevant: VJ v MESD, 2023 SST 804 opens a new window.

Employment Insurance appeals

The SST continued to deal with EI appeals related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Misconduct – Violating a vaccination policy

Many decisions looked at whether violating an employer’s vaccination policy was misconduct under the Employment Insurance Act (EI Act). They highlight how “misconduct” has a specific meaning under the EI Act. It includes deliberately going against a work policy when the person knew (or should have known) it could result in their dismissal. It isn’t for the SST to decide whether the policy was unfair or unlawful—these types of concerns are for another forum. Recent decisions include CT v CEIC, 2023 SST 1765 opens a new window; JB v CEIC, 2023 SST 1325 opens a new window; and CEIC v AL, 2023 SST 1032 opens a new window (decided by a three-member panel). SST decisions involving vaccination policies have been upheld by the Federal Courts (for example: Cecchetto v Canada (Attorney General), 2023 FC 102 opens a new window; Sullivan v Canada (Attorney General), 2024 FCA 7 opens a new window).

In a few cases, the SST decided there was no misconduct, since it wasn’t proven that the claimant knew they could be let go or suspended. For example, in one case, the claimant was suspended while waiting for a religious exemption, and in another, the claimant was on medical leave for other reasons: FA v CEIC, 2023 SST 1116 opens a new window; KM v CEIC, 2023 SST 1131 opens a new window.

EI Emergency Response Benefit – Eligibility

The SST interpreted the sections in the EI Act about eligibility for the EI Emergency Response Benefit (the EI version of the CERB). The Appeal Division consistently found that claimants were eligible if they had no income for at least 7 days in a 2-week period or earned less than $1,000 in a 4-week period. It rejected an interpretation that a person was always ineligible if they earned more than $1,000 in a 4-week period: CEIC v JE, 2022 SST 201 opens a new window; RG v CEIC, 2022 SST 1207 opens a new window; HG v CEIC, 2023 SST 355 opens a new window.

This year, the FCA said that the Appeal Division’s interpretation was reasonable: Canada (Attorney General) c Gagnon, 2023 FCA 174 opens a new window.

A common issue in EI appeals is availability for work.

Availability for work – Students

To get EI regular benefits, a claimant has to prove that they’re available for work. Two different approaches emerged for cases involving students. Some SST decisions said a student has to be available for full-time work during regular business hours: AS v CEIC, 2023 SST 927 opens a new window; DP v CEIC, 2022 SST 820 opens a new window. Other cases used a more contextual approach, considering a student’s work history: SS v CEIC, 2022 SST 749 opens a new window; BN v CEIC, 2022 SST 69 opens a new window.

This year, the FCA decided it was unreasonable for the Appeal Division to interpret the case law as saying availability has to be shown during regular hours for every working day and can’t be limited to irregular hours. The FCA confirmed the presumption that full-time students aren’t available for work. It said that a contextual analysis of the claimant’s circumstances is needed to decide whether the presumption should not apply: Page v Canada (Attorney General), 2023 FCA 169 opens a new window.

The SST considered an appeal under the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (Charter) about the combination of EI benefits.

Charter appeals – Combination of EI regular benefits and maternity/parental benefits

The EI Act says that people who get both special and regular benefits can’t get more than 50 weeks of benefits in a benefit period. Six women who lost their jobs around the time they welcomed a child into their families were denied regular benefits because they had already received 50 weeks of maternity and parental benefits. They challenged this limit as being a violation of the right to equality under the Charter. The General Division accepted their arguments: LC et al v CEIC, 2022 SST 8 opens a new window.

This year, the Appeal Division reversed that decision. It agreed that the EI Act indirectly creates a distinction based on a ground under the Charter, specifically sex. But it found that the distinction doesn’t amount to discrimination under the Charter. It said that the General Division had made a mistake by not considering the purpose of the EI Act or its legislative context: CEIC v LC et al, 2024 SST 24 opens a new window.

The Claimants have asked the FCA to review the Appeal Division decision.

The SST decides these and many other issues under the Canada Pension Plan opens a new window, Old Age Security Act opens a new window and Employment Insurance Act opens a new window. You can browse published decisions in our decision database opens a new window or search by case number, subject, date, appeal level or result. Our database now has over 14,000 decisions.

Our Income Security numbers

General Division

Inventory

We resolved many more appeals than we received this year. By year’s end, our active inventory (files ready for hearing or decision) was manageable for the number of members we had. 14% of our files (216 out of 1,495) were active at that time.

Appeals received and appeals resolved
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Appeals received and appeals resolved. In 2019-20, we received 2,058 appeals and resolved 2,592 appeals. In 2020-21, we received 2,196 appeals and resolved 1,998 appeals. In 2021-22, we received 2,417 appeals and resolved 2,095 appeals. In 2022-23, we received 2,005 appeals and resolved 2,270 appeals. In 2023-24, we received 2,086 appeals and resolved 2,644 appeals.

Number of open cases
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Number of open cases as of March 31. In 2020, there were 1,798 open appeals. In 2021, there were 1,996. In 2022, there were 2,318. In 2023, there were 2,053. In 2024, there were 1,495.

Processing times

Our processing times improved compared to last year. Our average time from when parties are ready to when we issued a decision decreased to 93 days. Our average time from the hearing to when we issued a decision decreased to 24 days.

Number of days from when parties are ready to when we issue a decision
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Number of days from when parties are ready to when we issued a decision. In 2019-20, our average was 85 days. In 2020-21, it was 74 days. In 2021-22, it was 84 days. In 2022-23, it was 126 days. In 2023-24, it was 93 days.

Number of days from the hearing to when we issue a decision
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Number of days from the hearing to when we issued a decision. In 2019-20, our average was 20 days. In 2020-21, it was 21 days. In 2021-22, it was 25 days. In 2022-23, it was 29 days. In 2023-24, it was 24 days.

Service standards

This year, we aimed to give appellants their decision within 70 days of when parties are ready for the hearing, at least 80% of the time. Our ability to reach this goal has been improving. We went from 21% at the start of the year to 59% at year’s end.

We also aimed to give appellants their decision within 30 days of the hearing, at least 80% of the time. Our best monthly average was 92%, while our lowest was 69%.

How many appeals got a decision within 70 days of readiness
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How many appeals got a decision within 70 days of readiness this year. In April 2023 we succeeded 21% of the time. In May 2023 it was 30%. In June 2023 it was 42%. In July 2023 it was 56%. In August 2023 it was 60%. In September 2023 it was 53%. In October 2023 it was 49%. In November 2023 it was 60%. In December 2023 it was 63%. In January 2024 it was 62%. In February 2024 it was 51%. In March 2024 it was 59%.

How many appeals got a decision within 30 days of the hearing
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How many appeals got a decision within 30 days of the hearing this year. In April 2023, we succeeded 83% of the time. In May 2023 it was 74%. In June 2023 it was 81%. In July 2023 it was 75%. In August 2023 it was 76%. In September 2023 it was 69%. In October 2023 it was 70%. In November 2023 it was 76%. In December 2023 it was 83%. In January 2024 it was 69%. In February 2024 it was 92%. In March 2024 it was 86%.

Appeal Division

Inventory

We received more appeals than we resolved this year. We added another member to hear Income Security appeals at the Appeal Division. The inventory at year’s end is higher, but it’s manageable for the number of members we now have.

Appeals received and appeals resolved
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Appeal received and appeals resolved. In 2019-20, we received 315 appeals and resolved 334 appeals. In 2020-21, we received 184 appeals and resolved 212. In 2021-22, we received 172 appeals and resolved 165. In 2022-23, we received 187 appeals and resolved 178. In 2023-24, we received 235 appeals and resolved 202.

Number of open cases
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Number of open cases as of March 31. In 2020, there were 69 open cases. In 2021, there were 41. In 2022, there were 48. In 2023, there were 57. In 2024, there were 90.

Processing times

Our average time from the filing of the appeal to when we issued a decision was 20 days. Our average time from when we issued a decision on permission to appeal to when we issued a final decision was 133 days. These numbers can’t easily be compared to previous years. This was our first full year with new criteria for permission to appeal and hearings held as a new proceeding.

Number of days from the filing of the appeal to when we issued a decision
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Number of days from the filing of the appeal to when we issued a decision. In 2019-20, the average time was 33 days. In 2020-21, it was 24 days. In 2021-22, it was 27 days. In 2022-23, it was 31 days. In 2023-24, it was 20 days.

Number of days from when we issued a decision on permission to appeal to issuing a final decision
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Number of days from when we issued a decision on permission to appeal to when we issued a final decision. In 2019-20, the average was 109 days. In 2020-21, it was 96 days. In 2021-22, it was 99 days. In 2022-23, it was 101 days. In 2023-24, it was 133 days.

Service standards

We didn’t have service standards for Income Security appeals at the Appeal Division this year. The appeal process changed significantly in December 2022, and we had to assess how that process would work first. Our new service standards take effect on April 1, 2024.

Appeal origin

Most Income Security appeals at the Appeal Division were started by claimants.

Appeal origin
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83% of appeals (196 appeals) were from claimants; 15% (34 appeals) were from the Minister of Employment and Social Development; 2% (4 appeals) were from added parties and less than 1% (1 appeal) were from claimant’s estate.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Appeal Division brings parties together for Alternative Dispute Resolution when they may be able to resolve the appeal without a hearing. This year, 93% of Income Security cases that went through this process were resolved.

Our Employment Insurance numbers

General Division

Inventory

We were able to resolve many more appeals than we received this year because we had more members. We cut our inventory in half and eliminated most of our backlog.

Appeals received and appeals resolved
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Appeals received and appeals resolved. In 2019-20, we received 3,814 appeals and resolved 3,979. In 2020-21, we received 1,669 appeals and resolved 1,905. In 2021-22, we received 3,138 appeals and resolved 2,559. In 2022-23, we received 3,974 appeals and resolved 3,197. In 2023-24, we received 3,843 appeals and resolved 4,640.

Number of open cases
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Number of open cases as of March 31. In 2020, there were 502 open appeals. In 2021, there were 266. In 2022, there were 845. In 2023, there were 1,622. In 2024, there were 825.

Processing times

Our processing times improved slightly compared to last year. The average time from the filing of the appeal to when we issued a decision was 108 days. The average time from the hearing to when we issued a decision was 18 days.

Number of days from the filing of the appeal to when we issued a decision
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Number of days from the filing of the appeal to when we issued a decision . In 2019-20, the average was 51 days. In 2020-21, it was 37 days. In 2021-22, it was 43 days. In 2022-23, it was 113 days. In 2023-24, it was 108 days.

Number of days from the hearing to when we issued a decision
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Number of days from the hearing to when we issued a decision. In 2019-20, the average was 14 days. In 2020-21, it was 9 days. In 2021-22, it was 10 days. In 2022-23, it was 19 days. In 2023-24, it was 18 days.

Service standards

We aim to give appellants their decision within 45 days of filing their appeal, at least 80% of the time. Our ability to reach this goal has been steadily improving. We went from 6% at the start of the year to 40% at year’s end.

We also aim to give appellants their decision within 15 days of the hearing, at least 80% of the time. By the end of the year, we were meeting this standard.

How many appeals got a decision within 45 days of filing
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How many appeals got a decision within 45 days of filing this year. In April 2023, we succeeded 6% of the time. In May 2023, it was 4%. In June 2023, it was 6%. In July 2023, it was 6%. In August 2023, it was 7%. In September 2023, it was 11%. In October 2023, it was 11%. In November 2023, it was 14%. In December 2023, it was 22%. In January 2024, it was 18%. In February 2024, it was 25%. In March 2024, it was 40%.

How many appeals got a decision within 15 days of the hearing
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How many appeals got a decision within 15 days of the hearing this year. In April 2023, we succeeded 60% of the time. In May 2023, it was 54%. In June 2023, it was 57%. In July 2023, it was 62%. In August 2023, it was 70%. In September 2023, it was 62%. In October 2023, it was 63%. In November 2023, it was 71%. In December 2023, it was 69%. In January 2024, it was 75%. In February 2024, it was 80%. In March 2024, it was 81%.

Appeal origin

Most EI appeals at the General Division came from claimants.

Appeal origin
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99% of appeals (3,807 appeals) were from claimants; less than 1% (36 appeals); were from employers.

Appeal Division

Inventory

We reassigned members to the Appeal Division this year, and so we were able to resolve more appeals than we received. Our year-end inventory of appeals is manageable for the number of members that we now have.

Appeals received and appeals resolved
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Appeals received and appeals resolved. In 2019-20, we received 494 appeals and resolved 569. In 2020-21, we received 199 appeals and resolved 232. In 2021-22, we received 373 appeals and resolved 272. In 2022-23, we received 770 appeals and resolved 679. In 2023-24, we received 696 appeals and resolved 776.

Number of open cases
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Number of open cases as of March 31. In 2020, there were 72 open cases. In 2021, there were 39. In 2022, there were 140. In 2023, there were 231. In 2024, there were 151.

Processing times

This year, our average time from the filing of the appeal to when we issued a decision was 67 days. Our average time from permission to appeal to decision was 111 days.

Number of days from the filing of the appeal to when we issued a decision
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Number of days from the filing of the appeal to when we issued a decision. In 2019-20, the average time was 24 days. In 2020-21, it was 20 days. In 2021-22, it was 21 days. In 2022-23, it was 41 days. In 2023-24, it was 67 days.

Number of days from when we issued a decision on permission to appeal to issuing a final decision
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Number of days from when we issued a decision on permission to appeal to when we issued a final decision by fiscal year. In 2019-20, the average was 106 days. In 2020-21, it was 76 days. In 2021-22, it was 89 days. In 2022-23, it was 105 days. In 2023-24, it was 111 days.

Service standards

We aim to give appellants their decision about permission to appeal within 45 days of filing their appeal, at least 80% of the time. We went from 15% at the start of the year to 67% at year's end, when the inventory was approaching a manageable level.

We also aim to make a final decision within 150 days of giving permission to appeal, at least 80% of the time. We met this standard.

How often we made a decision about permission to appeal within 45 days of filing
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How often we made a decision about permission to appeal within 45 days of filing this year. In April 2023, we succeeded 15% of the time. In May 2023, it was 12%. In June 2023, it was 21%. In July 2023, it was 16%. In August 2023, it was 12%. In September 2023, it was 19%. In October 2023, it was 31%. In November 2023, it was 13%. In December 2023, it was 28%. In January 2024, it was 18%. In February 2024, it was 33%. In March 2024, it was 67%.

How many appeals got a final decision within 150 days of getting permission to appeal
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How many appeals got a final decision within 150 days of getting permission to appeal this year. In April 2023, we succeeded 92% of the time. In May 2023, it was 61%. In June 2023, it was 50%. In July 2023, it was 75%. In August 2023, it was 77%. In September 2023, it was 60%. In October 2023, it was 90%. In November 2023, it was 94%. In December 2023, it was 93%. In January 2024, it was 89%. In February 2024, it was 84%. In March 2024, it was 100%.

Appeal origin

Most EI appeals at the Appeal Division were started by claimants.

Appeal origin
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91% of appeals (636 appeals) were from claimants; 8% (53 appeals) were from the Canada Employment Insurance Commission; 1% (6 appeals) were from the employer and less than 1% (1 appeal) were from the claimant’s estate.

Alternative Dispute Resolution

The Appeal Division brings parties together for Alternative Dispute Resolution when they may be able to resolve the appeal without a hearing. This year, 68% of Employment Insurance cases that went through this process were resolved.

Group appeals

Group appeals usually arise from a single employment situation that affects many people. We track these appeals separately, so they don’t have a disproportionate impact on our results. The volume of appeals may be high within a group, but there’s only one hearing for the group and typically only one decision.

Number of open group appeals at the General Division
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Number of open group appeals at the General Division. On April 1, 2023, there were 213 open group appeals (representing 6 groups). On March 31, 2024, there were 134 (representing 3 groups).

Number of open group appeals at the Appeal Division
Text version

Number of open group appeals at the Appeal Division. On April 1, 2023, there were 0 open group appeals. On March 31, 2024, there were 36 (representing 1 group).

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