Social Security Tribunal of Canada

Our preliminary access to justice scores

In 2020, the Social Security Tribunal (SST) answered questions relating to the 4 categories in the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) access to justice index. Check out our overall score and a summary of our results in each category. 

Preliminary overall DOJ index scores

Physical and technological access

  • 27 Questions on physical and technological access
  • 22 “YES” answers
  • 5 “NO” answers
  • Index Score: 89.83 / 100

Processes

  • 50 Questions on procedural justice, representation, information, interpersonal
  • 46 “YES” answers
  • 4 “NO” answers
  • Index Score: 95.16 / 100

Costs

  • 9 Questions on user and tribunal costs
  • 8 “YES” answers
  • 1 “NO” answer
  • Index Score: 90.00 / 100

Outcomes

  • 5 Questions on transparency and functional justice
  • 4 “YES” answers
  • 1 “NO” answer
  • Index Score: 68.75 / 100

Where the SST scored positively on the DOJ index

Physical and technological access

  • Oral processes held in locations as close a possible to parties
  • Hearing rooms accessible, hearings sites near public transit
  • SST open to public, reception staff on site
  • Can call SST outside of regular business hours
  • Parties can watch live or simulated oral processes
  • SST accommodates special needs
  • Parties are given scheduling choices
  • No substantiated claim of failure to accommodate in 12 months
  • Parties are given hearing form choices: in person, TC, VC, in writing
  • SST can respond to general or specific questions by email, phone, TTY
  • * Website: understandable to various literacy levels; meets TB accessibility standards; uses web-diagnostic tools; is designed to facilitate navigation; solicits feedback; offers technical assistance; responds to feedback about website issues

Processes

  • Members trained in active adjudication, objectivity and bias
  • Parties can choose processes as case goes through the system
  • Foreign-language interpretation provided
  • Client satisfaction evaluated, issues addressed
  • Data system and performance indicators on A2J in place
  • External and internal service standards met
  • Information and support to self-represented parties (SRPs)
  • * SST monitors members, staff, trends, needs regarding SRPs
  • Parties can have support person of their choice during their process
  • Training of members and staff on duty to accommodate
  • Mental health supports for FT members, staff, and referrals for parties
  • Regular outreach
  • * Plain language in writing and in oral communication
  • No substantiated claim with OCOL in past 12 months

Costs

  • Pays for foreign-language interpretation in proceedings
  • Provides copies of file documents free on request
  • Users can launch a proceeding and file documents without a fee
  • * Partners with pro bono public legal education and information
  • Reimburses parties expenses (in a limited number of cases)
  • Users can access public legal education and information free
  • Toll-free telephone and fax lines
  • SST budgets money for parties’ information needs

Outcomes

  • Considers roles of parties in disputes (e.g. employer/employee)
  • * Reasons for decision are clearly communicated to parties (e.g. plain language)
  • * Before issued, decisions are reviewed for consistency, transparency or other attributes
  • Reasons reviewed for quality (e.g. plain or accessible language)

Where the SST scored negatively on the DOJ index

Physical and technological access

  • Rooms not available where lawyers/ representatives can meet privately with clients
  • Parties are not informed that they can watch a live or simulated oral process
  • No child care or child-friendly spaces
  • Website not accessible to persons with different learning styles, such as the inclusion of visual and audio presentation of information
  • Does not use online smart forms

Processes

  • SST does not monitor members for implicit prejudice
  • Website lacks glossary
  • No written resources in languages other than French and English
  • Does not provide information using visual aids

Costs

  • Does not pay for the translation of key documents into languages other than French and English

Outcomes

  • After issued, decisions are not monitored internally for consistency in application

Next steps toward improving A2J at the SST

Next steps toward improving A2J at the SST
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