Social Security Tribunal of Canada

EI General Division: What happens after you appeal

After you appeal, here’s what happens: 

1 – We send you a letter

If you sent us all the information we need, we’ll send you a letter to confirm we received your appeal and tell you about the next steps. 

If there’s information missing that we need, we’ll tell you what’s missing and give you a deadline to send it to us. If we don’t hear back from you, your appeal won’t go to the next step.

2 – We let the CEIC know you’re appealing

We’ll let the Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) know you’re appealing their reconsideration decision.

We’ll ask the CEIC for:

  • the documents it has about your file
  • the CEIC’s submissions (their arguments in the case)

The CEIC has 7 business days to send us documents and submissions.

3 – We make sure you and the CEIC have all the documents

We’ll make sure you and the CEIC have the same information, including the documents you send us. This means we’ll send you or your representative a copy of the documents the CEIC sends us, and we’ll send the CEIC a copy of the documents you send us.

If another person is involved in your appeal as an added party, we’ll send them the same information too. The decision may affect other people. For example, if your employer has a direct interest in what happens with your appeal, the Social Security Tribunal (SST) member may consider adding them to your appeal. They would be called an “added party.” We’ll send them the same information too.

Send us your documents with your Notice of Appeal form. If you get new information or find other documents that you feel might support your appeal, you can also send them to us later.

We’ll number each document. An appeal file can contain many documents. Numbering helps keep track of them. Each document number starts with the letters “GD”.

We’ll number the documents “GD1,” “GD2,” and so on. We’ll add the document number and the page number to the bottom of each page. 

For example, this is page 1 of the second document in an appeal file:

page 1 of the second document in an appeal file

If you need to refer to a specific page, you can mention the GD number at the bottom of the page so everyone knows where the information is. 

4 – We assign your appeal to a member

We’ll assign your appeal to an SST member. The member has to look at your situation and see what the law says about it.

5 – The member decides whether there should be a hearing

The law says that members first have to decide whether there will be a hearing. 

Your SST member will look at all the information in your appeal. They’ll decide whether your appeal has a “reasonable chance of success.” That means they’ll consider whether you have an argument that could possibly succeed. If they think you do, they’ll want to hear more about it in a hearing.

If your appeal has a reasonable chance of success, you’ll have a hearing.

If your appeal doesn’t have a reasonable chance of success, the member may start the summary dismissal process.

What’s a summary dismissal?

When an SST member starts the summary dismissal process, it means they’ve decided that you don’t have an argument that could possibly succeed. They think your case might not have a reasonable chance of success.


Max applied for benefits but the CEIC denied them. So Max appealed the CEIC reconsideration decision about his benefits. Max paid into the Employment Insurance (EI) program for years when he worked other jobs. He believes it’s only fair that he get EI now that he’s out of work. But there’s more to it than that.

The law says that you have to have worked a certain number of hours within a certain period to qualify for EI. Max doesn’t have enough hours within that period.  Max agrees with the number of hours he worked during that period. But, he thinks it’s unfair that only certain hours can be counted. He thinks all of the hours he’s worked in his life should count. 

The SST member assigned to Max’s appeal has noticed that the facts are not in dispute (both Max and the CEIC agree on the number of hours Max has worked during the period and the number of hours that he would need to qualify for EI). 

So the member is thinking about summarily dismissing Max’s appeal. Members have to follow what the law says. For Max, the summary dismissal process will start.

If your appeal starts down the summary dismissal process, we’ll send you a letter. The letter will explain that your SST member thinks they may have to summarily dismiss your appeal.

You can tell us in writing why you think your appeal should not be summarily dismissed.

The member will look at what you send us.

Then the member will do 1 of 2 things:

  • summarily dismiss your appeal in writing
  • allow your appeal to go to the next step with a hearing

If the SST member summarily dismisses your appeal, there won’t be a hearing, and we’ll close your appeal file. You’ll get the summary dismissal decision in writing. The CEIC’s reconsideration decision will remain valid

You can appeal the member’s decision. If you want to appeal their decision, you have to appeal to the Appeal Division. The Appeal Division is the second level in the appeal process after the General Division.

6 – You have a hearing

We’ll send you a Notice of Hearing in writing. If you have a representative, they’ll get it too.

A Notice of Hearing gives you details about your hearing. For example, it says when and where the hearing is and the type of hearing. We’ll do our best to give you the type of hearing you want. Learn more about the different types of hearings and how to prepare for yours.

The member will make a decision after your hearing.

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