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Appealing a decision about social assistance

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Step 6: Go to the hearing

A hearing at the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) is not as formal as a court hearing. But there are rules about the hearing.

It is important to get help from a community legal clinic so you know what to expect. They can help you get ready.

They may even be able to represent you at your hearing. If they represent you, this means that they act as your lawyer. See How can I get legal help?

What to bring to the hearing

Bring all of your documents to the hearing. This includes documents that:

  • you filed with the SBT
  • you want to ask the SBT to consider but that you were not able to file on time

You should also bring any documents that you got from the office that made the decision you are appealing.

What happens at the hearing

The hearing is private. This is different from the courts, where usually anyone can go and watch.

There is always at least one person from the SBT, who is called a "member". The SBT member is in charge of the hearing and makes a decision about your appeal.

You will have a chance to give your evidence. The SBT member can ask you questions.

Someone called a "Case Presenting Officer" may be there to defend why OW, ODSP, or the Disability Adjudication Unit (DAU) made its decision. They can also ask you questions.

You may have witnesses who can give evidence. And the SBT member and the Case Presenting Officer can ask them questions.

You will have a chance to explain why you think the decision you are appealing is wrong.

What happens after the hearing

When the hearing is over, the SBT member will make a decision. You will get this in the mail, usually within 2 months.