Social Security Tribunal of Canada

Canada Pension Plan disability General Division: How to appeal

Sending supporting documents

We encourage you to send us documents you think will support your appeal, if you have any.

The Social Security Tribunal (SST) doesn’t investigate or seek out supporting documents (evidence). We don’t contact people to get more information on your behalf. It’s up to you to send us your supporting documents.

Supporting documents could include:

  • medical reports
  • specialist’s reports
  • evaluations (for example, functional capacity assessments) 
  • provincial workers’ compensation board or workers’ safety and insurance board files
  • proof of attempts to work or attempts to find work

Send us your documents by email, mail or fax. If you send them by email, make sure they’re in a format we can open.

If you submitted your Notice of Appeal through MSCA, you can’t use it to send us additional documents. You can only use MSCA when starting your appeal. If you have additional documents to send us after you’ve started your appeal, send them to us by email, mail, or fax.

We share the documents we receive with all the parties involved in your appeal.

Keep your originals. Send us copies.

When to send supporting documents

Send us any supporting documents as soon as possible. Your appeal may be delayed if you don’t.

You can send them with your Notice of Appeal form. You can also send them after. We’ll send you a schedule that sets out the deadlines for you to send us your documents.

In most cases, we follow this process:

  • Step 1: It’s your time to prepare. Send us documents to support your appeal. When you’ve sent us everything, let us know and we’ll move to the next step. You have up to 8 months from when you filed your appeal to send us your documents. If you need more time, you can ask for it. The General Division member (decision-maker) decides whether to give you more time. The maximum time we can give you to send us your documents is 20 months.
  • Step 2: It’s Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)’s time to prepare. ESDC is a party in the appeal. Service Canada sent you the reconsideration decision on behalf of ESDC. ESDC has up to 3 months to send us their documents. We’ll share them with you. If ESDC needs more time, they can ask for it. The member decides whether to give them more time.
  • Step 3: You have 30 days to reply to what ESDC sent us.

In some cases, the member may decide to change this process. If this happens, we’ll let you know.

If you send us documents after your deadlines, they will be considered late. You’ll need to explain why you should get permission to use the documents. The member will look at whether:

  • the documents are new and relevant
  • they could have been sent to us sooner
  • accepting the documents would be unfair to the other party or would cause delays

Translating documents

All the documents you give us must be in either English or French. If your documents are in another language, you must get them translated. You’re responsible for getting a translation of any document that you want to use to support your appeal.

If you give us a translated document, you must also give us:

  • The translator’s contact information (name, address and phone number)
  • A statement from the translator that the translation is complete and accurate
  • Both the document in its original language and the translated version

You’re responsible for the cost of translating your documents into English or French. We may check the translation for accuracy.

For more information, please visit the Language of the Appeal opens a new window section in our Rules of Procedure.


There’s no fee to appeal to the Social Security Tribunal (SST).

But you may have to pay costs related to your appeal if you:

  • make photocopies of documents you want to send to us 
  • send documents to us by Canada Post or a courier service
  • hire a representative
  • translate documents into either English or French
  • travel to an in-person hearing

In very rare cases, if you must attend a hearing, you may be able to get reimbursed for travel expenses, living expenses or lost income. The SST chairperson decides if there are special reasons that justify a reimbursement under section 63 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act opens a new window. Learn about these special situations in our policy on reimbursement of expenses and payment of allowances.

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