Social Security Tribunal of Canada

OAS/GIS appeals: Rescind or amend

This page explains how to apply to reopen a General Division or Appeal Division decision after you get it.

What “rescind or amend” means

In limited circumstances, you can ask the Social Security Tribunal (SST) to reopen a General Division or Appeal Division decision. To do this, write to use and ask us to “rescind or amend” the decision. This means you ask us to cancel or change the decision. If an SST member cancels a decision, they can replace it with a new one.

You must first receive a decision from the General Division or Appeal Division to be able to apply to rescind or amend it.

When you can apply

You have 1 year to apply to rescind or amend a General Division or Appeal Division decision after you get it.

For example, if you got your decision on September 1, 2021, you can apply on or before August 31, 2022.

You can apply in specific situations only

We can rescind or amend a decision only in specific situations.

You must show that you have a new material fact. A fact is “material” if it would probably have changed the previous result. 

You must show that you could not reasonably have known this fact at the time of the original hearing. For example, a new material fact might be a finding from a medical report that wasn’t known when the hearing took place but that would impact the decision.

How many times you can apply

You can apply only once to rescind or amend an SST decision.

How to apply

Send us a form or an email or letter.

Include any evidence of the new material fact. You may have more than 1 new material fact. If so, include any evidence of all the new material facts.

Option 1: Send us a form

Fill out and send us the Application to Rescind or Amend form.

Give all the information the form asks.

Explain how the fact or facts are new and material.

Option 2: Send us an email or letter

Send us an email or letter with:

  • the file number of the decision that you want us to reopen
  • your contact details:
    • name
    • address
    • phone number
    • email address (if you have one)
    • fax number (if you have one)
  • your representative’s contact details (if you have a representative)

Include a copy of the decision that you want us to reopen.

Describe the new fact or facts. Explain how they’re new and material.

Include any evidence of the new material fact or facts.

What happens after you apply

Here’s what happens after you apply:

1 – We send you a letter

We’ll send you a letter telling you we got your application.

2 – You can send us information

You’ll have 30 days to send us documents or submissions (arguments).

3 – We assign your application to a member

We’ll assign your application to an SST member.

If the decision you want to reopen is a General Division decision, we’ll assign it to a General Division member. If it’s an Appeal Division decision, we’ll assign it to an Appeal Division member.

4 – We make sure you and ESDC have all the documents

We’ll make sure you and Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC) have the same information, including the documents you send us. This means we’ll send you a copy of the documents ESDC sends us, and we’ll send ESDC 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.

5 – The member decides the next step

The member will do 1 of 2 things:

  • make a decision based on the information on file
  • schedule a hearing

If the member schedules 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.

If there’s a hearing, the member will make a decision after the hearing.

6 – We send you the decision

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

Applying to reopen a General Division decision and appealing to the Appeal Division

You can apply to reopen a General Division decision and appeal the same decision to the Appeal Division at the same time.

After you receive the General Division decision, you have 90 days to appeal the decision to the Appeal Division. Because of this deadline, you may want to appeal to the Appeal Division right away and not wait to hear back about your application to rescind or amend that decision. If you wait for the rescind or amend decision, you may be too late to appeal to the Appeal Division.

So you may want to do these 2 things at the same time to preserve your right to appeal to the Appeal Division. This means that, even if the outcome of the rescind or amend decision isn’t in your favour, you won’t have lost your right to appeal the original General Division decision to the Appeal Division.

In this situation, we usually put your appeal at the Appeal Division on hold until a General Division member has made the rescind or amend decision.

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Applying to reopen an Appeal Division decision and asking for judicial review from a court

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You can apply to reopen an Appeal Division decision and ask a court for judicial review of the Appeal Division decision at the same time. Judicial review is when a court reviews a decision from an administrative tribunal like the SST.

After you receive the Appeal Division decision, you have 30 days to apply for a judicial review. You can apply to either the Federal Court or the Federal Court of Appeal. It depends on the decision you want reviewed. The cover letter that comes with the original Appeal Division decision will tell you which court to apply to.

Because of the 30-day deadline, you may want to apply for judicial review right away and not wait for a decision about your application to rescind or amend your Appeal Division decision. If you wait for the rescind or amend decision, you may be too late to apply for judicial review.

So you may want to do these 2 things at the same time to preserve your right to apply for judicial review. This means that, even if the outcome of the rescind or amend decision isn’t in your favour, you won’t have lost your right to apply for judicial review of the original Appeal Division decision.

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