Home care complaints and appeals
Step 3: Appeal to the Health Services Appeal and Review Board (HSARB)
Do I always have a legal right to appeal to the HSARB?
Two kinds of complaints cannot be appealed to the HSARB. These are:
- complaints about the quality of service you receive, and
- complaints that your rights under the home care Bill of Rights were not respected.
Click here to read more about these situations. For all other complaints, you have a legal right to appeal to the HSARB. For example, if the CCAC will not give you the amount or type of service you need, or if your services are changed, cut back, or stopped, you can appeal to the HSARB.
When can I appeal to the HSARB?
You can start your appeal after you have followed the CCAC complaint process and:
- you are still not happy with the CCAC decision, or
- you have not received a written decision from the CCAC and it is more than 60 days since you made your complaint.
How do I start an HSARB appeal?
You must write to the HSARB and ask for a hearing.
The HSARB will tell you how to do this and they will send you a copy of the Rules that apply to the appeal process. You can call the HSARB at 1-866-282-2179, 416-327-8512, or 1-877-301-0889 (TTY). Or visit www.hsarb.on.ca.
You can still settle your complaint even after you start an appeal. If you do, you do not have to have a hearing.
What happens at an HSARB hearing?
The HSARB will decide whether the hearing will be in writing, by telephone, or in person. You, the CCAC, and the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care have the right to take part in the hearing. Each can have a lawyer and witnesses.
If the hearing is by telephone or in person, the CCAC, the Ministry, and you or your lawyer, can ask the witnesses questions. The HSARB will listen to all the witnesses and may also ask them questions. The HSARB will read any documents given to them as evidence.
If you cannot go to a hearing because of an illness or disability, you can ask the HSARB to come to your home or elsewhere to hear your evidence. If you ask the HSARB to do this, you may need to provide a medical report to support your request.
How long will it take to get a decision from the HSARB?
The law says a hearing must start within 30 days after you begin your appeal to the HSARB, unless you agree to start later. The HSARB must make a decision within 3 days after the hearing. They must give you that decision in writing as soon as possible.
What kind of decision can the HSARB make?
In their decision, the HSARB might:
- agree with the CCAC,
- order the CCAC to make a new decision based on HSARB directions, or
- replace the CCAC decision with a different one.
What if I do not agree with the HSARB decision?
You have 10 days to ask the HSARB to review their decision. The HSARB Rules tell you how to make this request. There is also a chance that you could challenge the decision in court. Get legal advice if you think you might want to do this. Click here to find out how to get legal help.
So far in this article, we have dealt with making complaints to a CCAC and appealing CCAC decisions. We will now look at other questions, starting with what to do about the two kinds of complaints that cannot be appealed to the HSARB.