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If any person affected by a finding or decision of an officer of the Department, including an applicant or recipient of social assistance, feels aggrieved regarding the granting, refusal, suspension, discontinuance, reduction, resumption or amount of social assistance, he may request an administrative review by a Review Committee, in writing, either personally or through a person acting on his behalf with his written consent, within 60 days from the date of notification of such finding or decision. Act 12-17; Regulations 28, 29
There are five regional Administrative Review Committees in the province, each comprising three Social Service Department officials (but not the Director of Social Assistance).
Any person affected by a decision of a Review Committee may appeal to the Appeal Board in writing within 30 days from the date of notification of such decision.
The Social Assistance Appeal Board is appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council, and consists of three members. Two of the members must have experience in insurance, education or social welfare either as members, officers, consultants or advisors to public or private welfare, educational or insurance boards, agencies, clubs, organizations or institutions. The third member must be a former recipient of social assistance.
Decisions of the Regional Director, the Review Committee and the Appeal Board are not subject to appeal or review by a court of law.
Prince Edward Island
Where an applicant is dissatisfied with a decision made by the Director
with respect to his application for assistance, he may appeal to the Appeals
Board for any of the following reasons:
a) he was not allowed to apply or re-apply for assistance;
b) his application for assistance was denied;
c) his assistance was cancelled, suspended,
varied or withheld on grounds which are inconsistent with the Regulations;
d) the amount of assistance granted is inconsistent with the Regulations.
The Appeals Board comprises a maximum of 7 members appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council. One of the members of the Board is appointed Chairman by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council and another member is appointed to act as Vice-Chairman. Members appointed to the Board should have some relevant experience in human services, with at least one member being a current recipient of welfare assistance. Regulations 29-40
Any recipient, former recipient or applicant, who believes himself adversely affected by any decision regarding the granting, suspension, discontinuance, reduction or resumption of assistance (whether provincial or municipal), may appeal, in writing, to the Co-ordinator of Appeals within 30 days of the receipt of the decision being appealed. The Director of Family Benefits and the social services committee of the municipal unit must provide a method for informing applicants for, or recipients of, provincial and municipal assistance of their right to appeal. Social Assistance Appeal Regulations
Applicants and clients have the right to appeal decisions on any matter
relating to their entitlement to benefits.
There are three levels of review for cases where an appeal has been requested. They are:
1. an informal review by the supervisor of Family Benefits, in consultation with the field worker or a higher authority;
2. a hearing before the Social Assistance Review Board;
3. a challenge before the Courts.
The Family Benefits Review Board was disbanded effective September 1, 1993.
Policy 05-02-09, 05-07-04
Halifax Municipal Social Assistance
The procedures outlined above apply both to the Family Benefits program and municipal social assistance in general. The following guidelines apply to persons appealing a decision of the Halifax Social Planning Department. Policy 11.9.1
There are basically four stages in the Halifax appeal procedure. The first stage is notification by client of an appeal request. The second stage is an internal review of the decision by the Social Assistance Administrator and a written response to the client and/or Co-ordinator of Appeals. The third stage is a hearing of the appeal by the Halifax Regional Social Assistance Appeal Board. The fourth stage is the decision by the Halifax Regional Social Assistance Appeal Board and its subsequent implementation by the City of Halifax Social Services Committee.
The appeal process in New Brunswick consists of three levels of review which are recognized by the Department. Policy No. 16
I. Primary Review
Provision may be made for a supervisor and worker to review together a decision made by that worker and contested by an applicant or recipient. Decisions made at this level are governed by the Act, Regulations and departmental policy, except for matters relating to the director's discretion in the application of the budget deficit method (to be reviewed by the Income Maintenance Area Administrator).
II. Area Review
An applicant or recipient may, within 30 days from the receipt of a decision made above, request on the appropriate form signed by him that his case be reviewed by the designated officer in the following situations:
a) his application for assistance has been denied;
b) in his opinion, the assistance granted is insufficient or inappropriate for his needs, within the limitations imposed by the Regulations;
c) his assistance has been reduced;
d) his assistance has been discontinued;
e) in his opinion, there has been an unreasonable delay in the making of a decision, in any matter which affects his receipt of assistance. Regulation 23-27
After reviewing the case, the designated officer shall notify the applicant or recipient in writing of the decision, within 15 days after receiving the request for review, and shall include a statement of a reason for his decision, a statement informing the applicant or recipient of his right to appeal to Social Welfare Appeals Board and an approved appeal form.
III. Final Appeal - Social Welfare Appeals Board
The Social Welfare Regulations establish an Appeals Board composed of not more than sixteen members, all appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council. The Chairman holds office for a three-year renewable term and is salaried. Every other member is appointed for a one year term which may be renewed for up to three years and serves without salary, except for a per diem allowance for expenses.
Every person affected by a decision of the Minister may, in writing, apply for a review of that decision and present his views within 90 days from the date of notice of the decision.
Notwithstanding the above paragraph, the following decisions are not subject
to review or appeal:
- the course of action for entry or re-entry of the client into the labour market and the temporary measures (job support, training or community services) which the Minister may propose to the client (see section 2.6);
- the written agreement which the Minister may conclude in the case of certain measures with the participant and the person for whom the work is performed, concerning the conditions of that work;
- the payment of benefits to an ineligible household where the Minister is of the opinion that, without those benefits, the person(s) in that household would be in a situation that could endanger his or their health or safety or lead to complete destitution;
- the method of calculating benefit entitlement under the "Parental Wage Assistance Program".
An application for review does not suspend the execution of the decision
or the effects of the determination. Act 76
The application shall be heard by a person designated by the Minister or, in the case of an assessment of a person's physical or mental limitations in his capacity for employment or inability to avail himself of a measure for a period of at least one month, by a committee consisting of a physician and at least two other professionals designated by the Minister. Such persons shall be designated for such term as well be specified in the notice of designation. Act 77
An application for review cannot be refused on the ground that it was received after the time prescribed, where the applicant proves that he was unable to act earlier. If an application is refused on the ground that it was received after the period prescribed, the decision may be appealed from to the Commission des affairs sociales within 15 days from the date on which the person was notified of the decision. If the Commission quashes the decision, the file shall be returned to the person or committee who or which rendered it. Act 78
The reviewed decision must be rendered within 30 days from the date of receipt of the application or, in the case of section 78, of the decision of the Commission des affairs sociales to return a file for review. The decision must include the reasons on which it is based and be transmitted in writing to the person concerned and inform him of his right to file and appeal. Act 79
In the case of a decision concerning legal aid services, the review shall be made in accordance with the Legal Aid Act (R.S.Q., chapter A-14). Act 80
Every person who believes he has been wronged by a reviewed decision may appeal therefrom to the Commission des affairs sociales within the period and according to the procedure provided for in the Act respecting the Commission des affairs sociales (R.S.Q., chapter C-34). Act 81
When a decision rendered under Chapter III (Parental Wage Assistance Program
-see section 6.3) is reviewed or appealed from, no amount established by
the Minister of Revenue for the purpose of computing the total income of
an adult, his spouse or a dependent child may be contested. Act 82
The Commission des affaires sociales shall suspend the hearing of an appeal relating to the determination of benefits paid under Chapter III where, at the request of the Minister of Revenue or the appellant, it is established that the appellant, his spouse or a dependent child has served an opposition or filed an appeal in respect of an assessment under the Taxation Act for the year which is the subject of the appeal and that such opposition or appeal may cause the amounts referred to in section 82 to vary. A suspension under the first paragraph shall continue until a final decision upholding the assessment is rendered or, as the case may be, until the Minister of Revenue, following a final decision cancelling or varying the assessment, re-determines the benefits of the appellant. Act 83
Benefits, other than special benefits, that are reduced by more than 50%
by a decision that may be reviewed (see above) shall be re-established until
the reviewed decision where the reviewed decision is not rendered within
10 working days of:
1. the day on which the beneficiary is ready to give his point of view in support of his application for review, where he applies for an extension to do so, or
2. the day of receipt of the application for review in other cases. Regulation 111
An applicant or recipient under the Family Benefits Act may request a review of his case as a result of the Director's decision to refuse, suspend, cancel or vary an allowance and/or a benefit. An applicant for or recipient of General Assistance under the General Welfare Assistance Act may be granted an opportunity to make submissions before suspension, cancellation or refusal of General Assistance to show why such action should not be taken; however, there is no right of appeal with respect to Special Assistance, Supplementary Aid or Incentive Allowances (see section 5.3).
Where a case review is not resolved to the client's satisfaction, both FBA and GWA legislation require that the client be notified in writing of the decision and the reasons therefor; such notification must also advise the client of his right to appeal to the Social Assistance Review Board.
The Social Assistance Review Board ("SARB") is established under authority of the Ministry of Community and Social Services Act; it comprises 24 members, including a chairman and vice-chairman, all of whom are appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor-in-Council.
A request for a SARB hearing and review must be filed by the client (of
FBA or GWA) in the prescribed form within 30 days after receipt of the decision,
order or directive to be reviewed; this time period may be extended by the
Board where there are prima facie grounds for granting such extension.
Any party to the SARB proceedings may appeal from a decision of the Board to the Supreme Court, on a question that is not a question of fact alone in accordance with the rules of court. FBA Act 13, 14, 15, FBA Policy 0602; GWA Act 10, 11, GWA Policy 0406-06; Ministry of Community and Social Services Act, Regulations 1, 2
An applicant or recipient of Social Allowances, General Assistance (see
section 5.1) or Municipal Social Assistance may appeal to the appeal board
("Social Services Advisory Committee"), in writing, within 15
days, where he feels his treatment was unfair because:
a) he was not allowed to apply or reapply for provincial or municipal assistance;
b) his request for social allowance or municipal assistance or increase in such allowance was not decided upon within a reasonable time;
c) his application for social allowance or municipal assistance was denied;
d) his social allowance or municipal assistance was cancelled, varied, suspended or withheld; or
e) the amount of assistance granted is insufficient to meet his needs.
The appropriate District Director or Deputy District Director of Income Security is required to review personally each Social Allowance appeal notice as received; necessary steps to rectify the problem should be taken in advance of the hearing if indicated.
The Social Services Advisory Committee consists of 15 members appointed by the Lieutenant-Governor in Council under section 3 of the Social Services Administration Act. The Lieutenant-Governor in Council shall appoint two of the members Chairman and Vice-Chairman; three members shall constitute a quorum.
The applicant or recipient may appeal any final order or decision of the Appeal Board to the Court of Appeal upon any question involving the jurisdiction of the Board or any point of law. Further appeal to the Court of Appeal may be taken only by leave of a judge of the Court of Appeal, within one month after the making of the order from which the appeal is sought. Act 8, 9; Policy CO-41;
In Winnipeg, applicants and recipients wishing to appeal a decision are encouraged to follow the municipal appeal procedure (customary lines of authority to the Supervisor or Program Manager), although they have a right to appeal directly to the provincial body. Municipal Policy p.3
1 - Appeal to Unit Appeal Committee
When a recipient feels his treatment has been unfair because:
a) he was not allowed to apply or re-apply for assistance;
b) his request for assistance or an increase in assistance was not decided upon within a reasonable time, depending on the circumstances of each case;
c) his application for assistance was denied;
d) assistance was cancelled, suspended, varied or withheld;
e) the amount of assistance granted is insufficient to meet his needs;
f) he is dissatisfied with unit policy or treatment received from an employee of the unit,
he may appeal in writing within 45 days after notification of the decision.
When an appeal has been registered with the unit, the unit administrator
a) if an error has been made; and
b) where the unit administrator determines pursuant to clause (a) that an error has been made, it an adjustment to the satisfaction of both parties is possible.
Where the unit administrator determines that no error has been made or that an adjustment to the satisfaction of both parties is not possible, the unit administrator shall arrange for a hearing to be held in camera within 20 days, not including Saturdays and holidays, from the date the appeal is registered with the unit.
The Unit Appeal Committee is established by every local or provincial unit to hear appeals from decisions of the unit respecting assistance.
Appeals to the Social Services Appeal Board
An applicant for, or recipient of assistance or a unit administrator who is dissatisfied with the decision of a Unit Appeal Committee may, within 20 days after such decision is given in writing, appeal to the Social Services Appeal Board established under section 10 of the Department of Social Services Act.
The decision of the Board on such appeal shall be final. Act 15-18; Regulation 41, 43; Policy sections 19,20
Any person affected by a decision on any matter respecting a social allowance
or a handicap benefit may appeal the decision to the chairman of an appeal
panel appointed by the Minister. Such appeal must be made in writing within
30 days from when the person receives notice of the decision appealed
from and of his right to appeal. The appeal panel may confirm, reverse or
vary the decision appealed from, and its decision is final. Act 28, 29
In practice, there are four levels of appeal:
i) an informal review by the official who made the initial decision;
ii) an administrative review by the Income Support Supervisor;
iii) a hearing before the Citizens' Appeal Panel (see previous paragraph);
iv) a challenge before the courts.
The informal review must take place immediately upon a client's request. The administrative review must take place within 7 days after receipt of a notice of appeal from an appellant. Appellants have the right to by-pass level "ii" (above) and appeal directly to the Citizens' Appeal Panel. No benefits under appeal are issued pending an appeal; no funds are issued to clients for travel expenses related to appeal hearings. Policy 05-10-01
Where an individual is dissatisfied with a decision made under the Guaranteed Available Income for Need Act or Regulations respecting the refusal, discontinuation or reduction of income assistance to him or his dependents, he may appeal the decision. Act 25; Regulation 34; Policy 1.7
An appellant must give notice in writing within 30 days of the decision
being appealed. The Regional Director, upon receipt of such notice, shall
reinstate income assistance benefits (if any) on the terms and at the rate
existing prior to the decision being appealed.
If the Regional Director cannot resolve the matter within 30 days of receiving a notice of appeal concerning eligibility for status as a handicapped person, or within 10 days of receiving a notice of appeal on any other matter, the appeal shall be heard by a tribunal composed of 3 members chosen as follows:
a) one member of the tribunal shall be nominated by the appellant but shall not be related to the appellant;
b) one member of the tribunal shall be nominated by the Regional Director, but the nominee shall not be an employee, officer, or official of the Government of the Province or of any municipality or community resources board within the Province;
c) a chairman shall be nominated by the members so appointed;
d) should the members fail to agree upon a chairman, then the Regional Director shall refer the matter to the local Judge of the Provincial Court, Family Division, who shall choose the chairman.
Any applicant for, or recipient of assistance may appeal any decision made by a social welfare officer or by the Director with respect to his eligibility to receive assistance or the amount of assistance paid to him.
Provision is made under the Social Assistance Act for the establishment
of a Social Assistance Appeal Board consisting of a chairman and 4 other
members appointed by Order-in-Council and regional social assistance Appeal
Committees each consisting of a chairman and 2 other members.
Appeals are made in the first instance to the Appeal Committee for the area in which the person resides. Act 12, 13; Regulation 29; Policy 8/10
Any finding of an Appeal Committee may be further appealed to the Appeal Board by the appellant or the Director. The decision of the Appeal Board is final except where in the Director's opinion, the material circumstances of the appellant have changed.
An applicant or recipient who is aggrieved by a decision of a Social Welfare Officer respecting the granting, refusal, suspension, reduction or amount of social assistance has the right to appeal. Every applicant must be advised, in writing, of his right to appeal and shall, on request, be provided with clear instructions respecting appeal procedures.
Appeals are made in the first instance to the Appeal Committee of the community in which the applicant resides or to the Administrative Review Group in communities where no Appeal Committee exists.
Any municipal or settlement council in the Territories may petition the Commissioner to establish a Social Assistance Appeal Committee for the community in which the council has jurisdiction, and may recommend to the Commissioner the composition and chairmanship of that Committee. In addition, an Administrative Review Group, consisting of three persons appointed by the Director (one of whom may be the Director himself) acts as an Appeal Committee for any community for which an Appeal Committee has not been established.
A Social Assistance Appeal Board is established under the provisions of the Social Assistance Act consisting of a Chairman and 4 other members, all appointed by the Commissioner. Appointments to the Appeal Board are for 2 years.
An appellant who is dissatisfied with the ruling of an Appeal Committee or the Administrative Review Group may, within 7 days of receiving the ruling, appeal to the Appeal Board. The decision of the Appeal Board is final. Act 12, Regulations 26-56
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