How to file an Employment Insurance appeal with the General Division


How to appeal

To file an appeal, please complete the Notice of Appeal – Employment Insurance – General Division form. If, for some reason, you cannot access the Notice of Appeal form online, please contact the Tribunal and it will send you a form.

Make sure to include all the required information, and to attach the reconsideration decision from the Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) when submitting your Notice of Appeal – Employment Insurance – General Division form. You cannot appeal to the Tribunal until you have your CEIC reconsideration decision. If you have misplaced your CEIC reconsideration decision, call or visit a Service Canada office. To find the Service Canada office nearest you, go to www.canada.ca or call 1-800-622-6232.

Need help filing your appeal?

If you need help filing your appeal, contact one of the universities below for free help from law students.

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  • University of Ottawa (September 1, 2020 to March 20, 2021)

    Law students at the University of Ottawa are offering assistance from September 1, 2020 to March 20, 2021 to those who wish to appeal a reconsideration decision made by the Canada Employment Insurance Commission. This can include representing you at a hearing before the Tribunal’s General Division – Employment Insurance Section. The law students’ help is free of charge and does not constitute legal advice or guarantee a successful outcome. You cannot receive this help if you are already represented by a lawyer or third party. Visit the University of Ottawa website for more information.

  • York University - Toronto (October 5, 2020 to April 1, 2021)

    Law students at the Community & Legal Aid Services Programme (CLASP) at York University are offering assistance from October 5, 2020 to April 1, 2021 to those who wish to appeal a reconsideration decision made by the Canada Employment Insurance Commission. This can include representing you at a hearing before the Tribunal’s General Division – Employment Insurance Section. The law students’ help is free of charge for those who meet CLASP's eligibility requirements and does not constitute legal advice or guarantee a successful outcome. You cannot receive this help if you are already represented by a lawyer or third party. If you wish to apply for these services, call CLASP at 416-736-5029.

Reasons to appeal

The Tribunal needs to understand why you believe the CEIC reconsideration decision is wrong. In your Notice of Appeal form, please explain the reasons for your appeal.

In your explanation, you should address:

  • Why you think the CEIC decision is wrong
  • How you can prove to the Tribunal that you should receive the benefit you were denied
  • If you have documents that could support your argument and, if so, provide them to the Tribunal

The Tribunal member needs to fully understand the reason(s) for your appeal because they will use your information, as well as the information from the other parties, to make a decision. Leaving out important or relevant information can impact the outcome of your appeal.

Late appeals

If you file your appeal after the 30-day deadline, your appeal may not be accepted. You will need to explain why your appeal is late on your Notice of Appeal form.

A Tribunal member will decide whether to allow your appeal to move forward based on your written explanation. You may include documents that support your explanation, such as a copy of a doctor’s report. You should explain:

  • The reason your appeal is late
  • The arguments you have to support your appeal and show that it has a chance of success
  • The steps you took that show that you were always planning to appeal
  • Why allowing the late appeal would not be unfair to the other party

A Tribunal member cannot allow your appeal to proceed if more than 12 months have passed since the CEIC reconsideration decision was communicated to you.

If the Tribunal member refuses to allow your appeal to move forward because it was late, the General Division will close your appeal file. You may appeal this decision to the Tribunal’s Appeal Division by submitting an Application to the Appeal Division – Employment Insurance form within 30 days.

Where to submit an appeal

You may mail, email or fax your appeal documents to the Tribunal.

Added party

If the Tribunal member decides that another person has a direct interest in the decision that will result from the appeal, the Tribunal member may add this person as a party to the appeal.

The Tribunal member may add a party to an appeal either on their own initiative or further to a person requesting to be added as a party to an appeal.

Example:

The Canada Employment Insurance Commission (CEIC) made a reconsideration decision finding that an employee was not entitled to benefits because there was a labour dispute at the employee’s work place. The employee then appeals the reconsideration decision to the Tribunal. The Tribunal may send the employer a letter informing them that an appeal has been filed and that they can request to be added as a party.

When the Tribunal member adds a party to the appeal, the added party will receive copies of all documents filed by the other parties in the appeal. An added party has the right to submit written submissions and documents to the Tribunal and to participate in a hearing.

The Tribunal also sends the decision to the added party.

How to request to be added as a party

To request to be added as a party, please send a written request to the Tribunal along with the following information:

  • Your contact information
    • First and last name (if an employer or business, the business name and the name of a contact person)
    • Address
    • Telephone number
    • Fax number (if you have one)
    • Email address (if you have one)
  • The reasons you have a direct interest in the decision
  • Your signature on your request to be an added party
  • If you have a representative, their name and contact information (address, telephone number, and, if they have one, a fax number and email addresss).
  • Both your and your representative’s (if you have one) signature, to show that you both agree with representation

The Tribunal member will review the request and decide if the person has a direct interest in the decision that will result from the appeal. All parties will be notified of the Tribunal member’s decision to add a party to the appeal. If the Tribunal member refuses the added party request, this decision may be appealed to the Appeal Division.

Summary dismissals

The law requires that Tribunal members decide, based on the information in the file, if the appeal has a reasonable chance of success. If the Tribunal member determines that there is no reasonable chance of success, the Tribunal member will then begin the summary dismissal process.

The Tribunal will send you a letter to let you know of the Tribunal member’s intention to summarily dismiss your appeal. You will be have the opportunity to explain why your appeal should not be summarily dismissed. The Tribunal member will review any information that you submit.

The Tribunal member will decide whether to:

  • a) summarily dismiss the appeal (with this decision, there is no hearing); or
  • b) continue the appeal process and decide on the type of hearing.

If your appeal is summarily dismissed, you can appeal to the Appeal Division.

Example:

You disagree with the CEIC reconsideration decision denying you benefits. You believe that because you have paid into the Employment Insurance (EI) program for years, it is only fair for you to get EI now that you are out of work. However, the law requires a specific number of insurable hours to qualify for EI and you do not have the required hours. If you do not have the specific number of insurable hours, the Tribunal member may decide to summarily dismiss your appeal because he or she must apply the law as it is written. In such a case, the summary dismissal process would begin.

Documents

Documents to submit with your Notice of Appeal

You are strongly encouraged to file all of the documents that you are relying on to support your appeal when you file your Notice of Appeal – Employment Insurance – General Division form. Supporting documents could include things such as:

  • Pay stubs
  • Record(s) of Employment
  • Collective agreement
  • Employment contract
  • Medical report
  • Specialist’s report
  • Bank statements
  • Proof of residence
  • Other court or tribunal decisions or settlement agreements

The fastest way to send us information is by email. To avoid delays, please send us your documents in a format we can open.

If, after you submit your Notice of Appeal and supporting documents, you find other documents that you feel might support your appeal, you may submit this additional information to the Tribunal. The Tribunal will provide copies to the other parties.

If you do not send your supporting documents to the Tribunal as soon as possible, your appeal may be delayed. Please note that the Tribunal member will decide whether or not to accept documents presented at or after a hearing.

Only send copies to the Tribunal. Keep all originals.

All documents submitted to the Tribunal must be in English or French. Any documents sent to the Tribunal in a language other than English or French will not be accepted. They will be returned to the party who submitted the documents.

Documents in a language other than English or French must be translated into English or French. The party who wishes to file the document is responsible for the translation.

Sharing of documents

The Tribunal will send all parties copies of all documents filed by other parties (such as the CEIC, or an added party). This ensures that all parties, and the Tribunal member, have the same information.

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