Federal Court of Appeal not having legal authority to grant Canada Pension Plan disability benefits

Federal appeal | Pensions | Federal and provincial pension plans | Federal pension plans

Disability pension claimant’s application for disability benefits under Canada Pension Plan was dismissed on ground that she did not have severe and prolonged disability at her minimum qualifying period. Social Security Tribunal – General Division dismissed claimant’s appeal. Social Security Tribunal – Appeal Division allowed claimant’s appeal and referred matter back to General Division for new hearing and to receive more evidence. Claimant brought application for judicial review of Appeal Division’s decision on basis that it should have simply granted her disability benefits. Application dismissed. Appeal Division’s decision to send matter to General Division was acceptable, defensible and reasonable. Federal Court of Appeal did not have legal authority to grant benefits to claimant, as only Social Security Tribunal was permitted to receive further evidence, assess whether claimant was disabled, and grant disability benefits. This was not case where outcome on merits was certain enough to grant mandamus. Evidentiary record did not support mandamus because of severe maladministration. This court did not have jurisdiction to uphold claimant’s entitlement to benefits under Ontario Disability Support Program or to award damages for alleged abusive conduct and conduct contrary to human rights standards. Attorney General of Canada had now accepted that claimant was disabled within meaning of Canada Pension Plan. General Division may only need to receive submissions from parties, calculate amount of benefits, and make order.

Garshowitz v. Canada (Attorney General) (2017), 2017 CarswellNat 7421, 2017 FCA 251, Eleanor R. Dawson J.A., David Stratas J.A., and Donald J. Rennie J.A. (F.C.A.).

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