Social Security Tribunal of Canada

Employment Insurance (EI) appeal process at a glance

You got your Employment Insurance (EI) decision from Service Canada, and you don’t agree with it. What now? This page provides an overview of the appeal process. Click on the links to get more detail on each step. 

STOP: Are you in the right place? 

Do you want to apply for EI benefits? 
Apply to Service Canada on the Employment Insurance benefits section of Canada.ca.

Do you agree that you owe money to EI and you want a payment plan or want the amount reduced? 
If you agree that you owe money to EI, such as an overpayment, penalty or interest, but want a payment plan or want the amount reduced, the SST can’t help you. 

  • You can contact the Canada Revenue Agency to discuss a payment arrangement or to request that the debt be cancelled for financial reasons. 
  • Sometimes Service Canada can write off (dismiss) an overpayment. You should make your request in writing to the same Service Canada office that issued your EI decision. 

Is your complaint about the way you were treated by Service Canada? 
The SST hears appeals about Service Canada’s decisions. We can’t do anything with complaints about how Service Canada treats people. You can contact Service Canada’s Office for Client Satisfaction

Appealing to the Social Security Tribunal (SST)

If you disagree with your reconsideration decision, you can appeal to the SST. We have two levels of appeal at the SST. The General Division (first level of appeal) and the Appeal Division (second level of appeal). 

You can get help with your appeal if you need it. 

General Division (first level of appeal): Appeal a reconsideration decision from Service Canada

If you disagree with Service Canada’s reconsideration decision, you can appeal to the General Division. The General Division is the first level in the SST’s appeal process.

How to appeal

You have 30 days to appeal after you receive the reconsideration decision.

Think about these things while preparing your appeal:

Fill out and send in the Notice of Appeal – Employment Insurance – General Division form to start your appeal.  

After you appeal

We send you a letter to tell you that we received your appeal.

We let the Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) know that you’re appealing.

We send all the documents to you, the CEIC and any added parties.

We assign your appeal to an SST member. 

The member decides if you’ll have a hearing or not.

Preparing for your hearing 

If you’re having a hearing, we send you a Notice of Hearing with the date and time and the type of hearing (in person, over the phone, videoconferencing). 

You can ask to change the date of your hearing if you have a good reason.

Find out what a hearing is like: How formal, how long, who will be there, breaks, and more. 

Learn more about how to prepare for your hearing

Getting your decision

After your hearing, you’ll usually get your decision within 15 days.

We’ll send you the decision. If you have a representative, they’ll get it too.

Appeal Division (second level of appeal): Appeal a General Division decision

You can appeal to the Appeal Division if you disagree with the decision of the General Division. You can only win your appeal if you can show that the General Division member made a specific kind of mistake.

How to appeal

Make sure that you understand your reasons for appealing. You have to explain clearly how the General Division made a mistake.  

Fill out and send us the Application to the Appeal Division – Employment Insurance form to start your appeal.

You have 30 days to send us the form if you’re asking for permission to appeal a General Division decision. You have more time if you’re appealing a General Division summary dismissal decision.

After you appeal

We send you a letter telling you that we received your appeal.

We tell the CEIC that you’re appealing and we send the documents to you, the CEIC and any added parties.

We assign your appeal to an Appeal Division member (not the same member you had at the General Division).

The member looks at the documents and decides whether you have an argument that could possibly succeed. If so, the member will give you permission to appeal. This step doesn’t apply if your appeal was summarily dismissed by the General Division. 

  • If you are not given permission to appeal, your appeal doesn’t go any further. 
  • If you are given permission to appeal, you have 45 days to send us your submissions (arguments). 

In some cases, the member suggests alternative dispute resolution (this could be suggested earlier in the process too).

Preparing for your hearing

In most cases, you’ll have a hearing. We’ll send you a Notice of Hearing with the date and time and the type of hearing (in person, over the phone, videoconferencing). 

You can ask to change the date of your hearing if you have a good reason.

Find out what a hearing is like: How formal, how long, who will be there, breaks, and more. 

Learn more about how to prepare for your hearing

Getting your decision

You’ll usually get: 

  • your permission to appeal decision within 45 days after you applied
  • your final decision within 150 days of permission to appeal being given and within 60 days after your hearing (if you had a hearing)

If you disagree with the Appeal Division decision, you can ask a court for a judicial review

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