Key steps in a Canada Pension Plan appeal with the General Division

Step 1:

To start an appeal, please complete the Notice of Appeal – Income Security – General Division form and submit it to the Tribunal, along with the reconsideration decision of the Minister of Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).

Step 2:

The Tribunal will send you a letter to confirm it received your appeal. If your appeal is missing information, the Tribunal will ask you to provide it. The appeal process will not start until the Tribunal receives all missing information. If your appeal appears to be late, the Tribunal will inform you of this. The appeal process will not start until a Tribunal member decides if your appeal can move forward.

Step 3:

The Tribunal will contact ESDC to inform it of your appeal and ask for a copy of all documents relating to your file. The Tribunal expects to receive the documents from ESDC within 20 days of the request.

Step 4:

The Tribunal will send you a letter explaining the appeal process and a copy of the documents the Tribunal received from ESDC. In addition, the Tribunal will send you a Notice of Readiness form to complete and submit to the Tribunal. For more information about the Notice of Readiness form and when to complete and send it to the Tribunal, please refer to Filing Documents.

Note: The Tribunal will provide all parties to the appeal with a copy of the documents it receives from each party. This means that, for example, any documents you file will be shared with ESDC and any documents ESDC files will be shared with you.

Step 5:

In most cases, the appeal will be assigned to a Tribunal member when the Tribunal has received one signed Notice of Readiness form from each of the parties (that is, the appellant, the respondent, and the added party if there is one) or one year after the Tribunal received a complete appeal.

Step 6:

The law requires the Tribunal member to decide if the appeal should be dismissed on a summary basis (without holding a hearing). The Tribunal member will summarily dismiss an appeal if he or she finds that the appeal has no reasonable chance of success. For more information, go to the Summary Dismissals section.

Step 7:

If an appeal is not summarily dismissed, the Tribunal member will decide the appeal based on the documents and submissions on file or may decide to conduct a hearing.

If the Tribunal member decides the appeal based on the documents and submissions on file (also known as “on the record”), the Tribunal will send you the Tribunal member’s decision in writing.

If the Tribunal member decides to conduct a hearing, you and your representative (if applicable) will receive a Notice of Hearing to inform you of the type of hearing and the time, date, and location of the hearing. The Tribunal member may hold a hearing:

  • by teleconference;
  • by videoconference;
  • in-person; or
  • by written questions and answers.


Step 8:

After the hearing the Tribunal member will make a decision on your appeal. The Tribunal will send you this decision in writing. The Tribunal has service standards that identify the timelines in which you can expect your decision to be issued.

Step 9:

If you disagree with the decision of the General Division, you may wish to go to the Appeal Division for information on your options.

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