Social Security Tribunal of Canada

Client satisfaction survey – January to March 2021

General Division (Employment Insurance and Income Security) and Appeal Division survey results

Overall satisfaction: 89%

Appeal type Satisfaction Response Rate Participants
Employment Insurance (EI) 92% 70% 169
Income Security (IS) 86% 42% 94
Appeal Division (AD)1 79% 41% 7

Were forms, letters and emails easy to understand? 

Employment Insurance Income Security Appeal Division Combined
88% 88% 86% 88%
  • 243 out of 276 respondents agreed that the SST’s correspondence was clear and easy to understand.
  • Some common criticisms of the SST’s communication included legal language that was difficult to understand and an overwhelming amount of documents.


  • “I would say that the legal terms were not easy to understand.” (Appellant, EI)
  • “I found some of the documents long, especially the Employment documents. Would it be possible to narrow them down?” (Appellant, EI)

Before the hearing, did you know what to expect and how to prepare? 

Employment Insurance Income Security Appeal Division Combined
85% 82% 71% 83%
  • 56% of respondents strongly agreed and 27% somewhat agreed that they knew what to expect and how to prepare.
  • Many comments showed that respondents didn’t feel they had a clear understanding of how the hearing would proceed, and this added stress to the appeal process.


  • “I knew to have documents ready, and how to connect to the hearing. I did not know what would happen at the hearing.” (Appellant, EI)
  • [Translation] “The Tribunal member explained to me how the hearing would go, and this relieved a lot of stress. Is it possible to train your registry officers so that they can have this type of conversation with the appellant a few days before the hearing?” (Appellant, EI)

Were you able to participate fully, for example: answer questions, correct errors and explain your case? 

Employment Insurance Income Security Appeal Division Combined
94% 87% 86% 91%
  • 250 out of 274 respondents agreed that they were able to fully participate in their hearing.
  • Some comments indicated the following reasons for not being able to fully participate:
    • Not knowing when to speak
    • Not being prompted to speak
    • Feeling like there was not enough time to speak


  • “It was confusing. The Tribunal member didn’t ask me anything or refer to any of the material I was given.” (Appellant, EI)
  • “The member was very nice. They gave me time to defend myself, add more, etc. I liked the way they spoke to me. They were not bossy like on TV. I was so nervous, but they were very patient.” (Appellant, EI)

Did the Tribunal handle your appeal quickly? 

Employment Insurance Income Security Appeal Division Combined
98% 80% 71% 90%
  • The majority of respondents felt their appeals were timely.
  • Most people who said they felt like the process was too long were referring to the appeal process as a whole.
  • Comments specifically about the SST said that the time to schedule a hearing and the time to receive a decision was too long.


  • “I did not like how long I had to wait for the hearing to actually be scheduled.” (Appellant, IS)
  • “It’s been over a year now, so it’s long. They said it would be done before Christmas and it’s not.” (Appellant, IS)

Were you happy with the form of hearing? 

pie chart of teleconference and zoom percentages
  • Overall, the majority of respondents agreed that they were happy with their form of hearing, especially in light of COVID-19.
  • Comments both from teleconference users and videoconference users highlighted technical issues including poor sound quality and difficulty connecting.


  • [Translation] “The sound quality was very poor. It sounded like Tribunal member was speaking through an intercom.” (Appellant, EI)
  • “There was a little bit of difficulty with the sign-in process. I was trying to put the link in and it wasn’t taking it. All of the information was in one line. I had to break it up and then it took it and asked for my passcode. It was confusing.” (Appellant, IS)

Did you visit the website? Was it easy to find what you were looking for? 

pie chart of visits to Tribunal website
  • The majority of respondents remarked that they were not aware of the website, did not have access to a computer or the internet, or felt they already had all the necessary paperwork.
  • Those who used the website commonly searched for forms or for prior decisions. Of these searches, the following criticisms were common:
    • It was difficult to find the documents.
    • The availability of information was poor.


  • “I had sufficient info, so I did not need the website.” (Appellant, IS)
  • “It was not as easy to find as I would have liked. I remember there were some external links on there too that took me to other places. That bothered me. I don’t want to have to refer to a non-government source.” (Appellant, IS)

Was your Navigator helpful in getting you ready for your hearing? 

    Compass graphic icon

    48 navigated appellants responded to the survey in Quarter 4. The January to March data shows:

    • 86% of Navigated appellants were satisfied with their hearing experience overall.
    • 88% of respondents were satisfied with their Navigator.
    • Navigated appellants rated high levels of satisfaction (80%-90%) on all questions. Navigated appellants used the website less often than non-navigated appellants (only 44% of the time).


    • “She was extremely helpful and understanding, checking up on me when needed. (Appellant, IS)
    • “He was very good. He was always in touch and answered all our questions!” (Appellant, IS)
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