Social Security Tribunal of Canada

Witnesses

A witness is someone who provides evidence to the Social Security Tribunal (SST). Any of the parties to the appeal (appellant, respondent, added party) can have witnesses to support their appeal. You will usually be a witness at your own appeal. Another witness could be a co-worker, a doctor, a family member or anyone who can provide relevant information. 

What witnesses do

A witness provides relevant information to the SST member at the hearing.

At the hearing: 

  • a witness who is not a party may be excluded from the hearing until it is their turn to testify
  • the member will ask the witness to affirm that they will tell the truth 
  • you, your representative, any other parties and their representatives can question the witness
  • sometimes the member will also question the witness

It’s your responsibility to prepare your witness for the hearing:

  • give them information about the appeal and any documents they may need
  • let them know when the hearing is, and how to attend the hearing 

You need to make sure that your witness attends the hearing. The SST can’t order witnesses to attend the hearing. We cannot cover costs for your witnesses. 

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Tell us who your witnesses are

Tell us as soon as possible if you’re bringing witnesses to your hearing. For each witness who’s not a party in the appeal, you should tell us: 

  • their name
  • their connection to you or to the appeal
  • whether they need accommodation or an interpreter
  • if the hearing is in person, indicate whether they will attend in person or another way (for example, by videoconference or phone)

For a witness appearing as a professional (such as a doctor), you should also give us: 

  • their title/profession
  • their qualifications
  • their written report or a summary of their planned testimony
  • if the hearing is in person, indicate whether they will attend in person or another way (for example, by videoconference or phone) 
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