Old Age Security and Guaranteed Income Supplement General Division: How to appeal
Sending supporting documents
We encourage you to send us documents you think will support your appeal, if you have any.
The Social Security Tribunal (SST) doesn’t investigate or seek out supporting documents (evidence). We don’t contact people to get more information on your behalf. It’s up to you to send us your supporting documents.
If your appeal relates to residence in Canada, supporting documents could include:
- driver’s license
- proof of medical coverage and medical records
- utility bills
- work records
- tax records
- travel documents, such as a passport
- letters from witnesses
If your appeal relates to other things like age or marital status, supporting documents could include:
- birth certificate
- marriage certificate or statutory declaration of common-law union
- documents from religious institutions
- letters from witnesses
- proof of divorce or separation
- medical records
Keep your originals. Send us copies.
When to send supporting documents
Send us any supporting documents as soon as possible. Your appeal may be delayed if you don’t.
You can send them with your Notice of Appeal form. You can also send them after. We’ll send you a schedule that sets out the deadlines for you to send us your documents.
In most cases, we follow this process:
- Step 1: It’s your time to prepare. Send us documents to support your appeal. When you’ve sent us everything, let us know and we’ll move to the next step. Usually, you have up to 3 months from when you filed your appeal to send us your documents. If you need more time, you can ask for it. The General Division member (decision-maker) decides whether to give you more time. The maximum time we can give you to send us your documents is 20 months.
- Step 2: It’s Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)’s time to prepare. ESDC is a party in the appeal. Service Canada sent you the reconsideration decision on behalf of ESDC. ESDC has up to 2 months to send us their documents. We’ll share them with you. If ESDC needs more time, they can ask for it. The member decides whether to give them more time.
- Step 3: You have 30 days to reply to what ESDC sent us.
In some cases, the member may decide to change this process. If this happens, we’ll let you know.
If you send us documents (evidence) after your deadlines, they may be considered late. The member will need to decide whether you can use them in your appeal. They’ll look at whether:
- the documents are new and relevant
- they could have been sent to us sooner
- accepting the documents would be unfair to the other party and whether it would cause delays
We can accept documents only in English or French. If your documents are in another language, they must be translated. You’re responsible for getting a translation of any document that you want to use to support your appeal.
If you send us documents in a language other than English or French without a translation, we won’t accept them. We’ll return them to you without sharing them with anyone else.
There’s no fee to appeal to the Social Security Tribunal (SST).
But you may have to pay costs related to your appeal if you:
- make photocopies of documents you want to send to us
- send documents to us by Canada Post or a courier service
- hire a representative
- translate documents into either English or French
- travel to an in-person hearing
In very rare cases, if you must attend a hearing, you may be able to get reimbursed for travel expenses, living expenses or lost income. The SST chairperson decides if there are special reasons that justify a reimbursement under section 63 of the Department of Employment and Social Development Act. Learn about these special situations in our policy on reimbursement of expenses and payment of allowances.