A representative is someone who helps you and advocates for you during your appeal. Any of the parties in an appeal can have a representative. Your representative can be a friend, a family member, a lawyer, or another professional. They speak for you and handle paperwork for you.
What representatives do
Your representative communicates with the Social Security Tribunal (SST) for you throughout the appeal process. You can add or change a representative at any time in your appeal.
Your representative can handle most of the paperwork for you. They can help you prepare your appeal by:
- getting documents to support your appeal (at the General Division)
- filling out forms
- sending documents to the SST for you
- making written arguments to support your appeal
Your representative can also help you at your hearing by:
- explaining your position
- questioning you to help you tell your story (at the General Division)
- questioning witnesses (at the General Division)
- making arguments and responding to the other parties’ arguments
- answering questions from the SST member about your position
You decide when you want help from your representative. They can:
- represent you for your entire appeal, including your hearing
- help you until your hearing, and then you attend your hearing alone
- represent you at your hearing even if you managed your appeal by yourself until then
How to find a representative
You don’t need a representative to appeal to the SST. You can represent yourself. But if you want to have someone represent you, you can.
We can’t give you advice on whether or not you should get a representative, and we can’t recommend a representative for you.
You may qualify for Legal Aid services or a free consultation with a lawyer. Or, you may be able to get help from one of the organizations on this list.
You can also hire a lawyer or another professional, or you can ask a friend or family member to represent you. You must pay any costs related to having a representative.
What information we share with your representative
If you tell us you have a representative, we’ll share information with them. We’ll send them all the documents. If we need to call someone about your appeal, we’ll call them, not you. Your representative is responsible for sharing all information with you.
If you have a representative, the only documents we’ll share directly with you are:
- your Notice of Hearing
- your decision
All other documents will be sent to your representative.
Tell us who your representative is
You can name a representative at any time during your appeal. You need to tell us who your representative is.
When you fill out your Notice of Appeal, there’s a section about representatives. If you choose a representative and fill out that section, it gives that person permission to act on your behalf for your appeal.
To name a representative at any other time, contact us with your representative’s name and contact information. We’ll update your file.
If you had a representative for your appeal at the General Division, you can use the same representative at the Appeal Division if you want. You can indicate this on your Application to the Appeal Division.
Changing or removing your representative
If you decide to change your representative or stop using a representative, you have to tell us. We’ll update your file and notify all the parties. If you don’t tell us, we’ll keep sending documents to your old representative, not to you or your new representative.