Social Security Tribunal of Canada

Other CPP appeals: Process at a glance

You got your Canada Pension Plan (CPP) 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 CPP benefits? 
Apply to Service Canada on the Canada Pension Plan section of Canada.ca.

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

  • You can contact Service Canada to discuss repayment options. For example, you can request that the overpayment be collected over a longer period of time.
  • Sometimes Service Canada can remit (cancel) an overpayment. You should make your request in writing to the same Service Canada office that issued your CPP decision. 

Do you believe that Service Canada owes you money, or that you shouldn’t have to repay the money, because they gave you wrong advice or made an administrative mistake?
If you believe that Service Canada owes you money or that you shouldn’t have to repay the money because they gave you wrong advice or made an administrative mistake, the SST can’t help you.

  • You can contact Service Canada to ask them to pay you the money you would have received if the mistake had not been made, or you can ask them to remit (cancel) all or part of the overpayment. 
  • You should make your request in writing to the same Service Canada office that issued your CPP 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 90 days to appeal after you get the reconsideration decision.

Think about these things while preparing your appeal:

Fill out and send us the Notice of Appeal – Income Security – 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 ESDC know that you’re appealing. We send all the documents to you, ESDC and any added parties.

You send us your supporting documents and tell us when you’re ready to have a hearing. You have a maximum of 1 year.  

We assign your appeal to an SST member. 

Preparing for your hearing 

In most cases, you’ll have a hearing. If you have 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. 

Getting your decision 

After your hearing, you’ll usually get your decision within 30 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 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 – Income Security form to start your appeal.

You have 90 days to send us the form if you’re asking for permission to appeal a decision from the General Division. You have more time if you’re appealing a summary dismissal decision from the General Division.

After you appeal 

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

We tell ESDC that you’re appealing and we send the documents to you, ESDC 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 60 days after your hearing (if you had a hearing)

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

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