Time limits set out in EI system served important policy goals and could not be ignored

Public law – Social programs – Employment insurance

Applicant was injured at work and, after receiving workers’ compensation benefits for period, she made gradual return to work. Applicant discovered that she would not receive benefits for last two months before her return to work. After applicant’s appeal with respect to denial of workers’ compensation benefits was dismissed, she unsuccessfully applied for Employment Insurance (EI) sickness benefits. Applicant’s appeal to General Division of Social Security Tribunal was dismissed on basis that she did not have good cause for delay in applying for benefits. Applicant’s application for leave to appeal to Appeal Division of Tribunal was dismissed. Applicant applied for judicial review. Application dismissed. There were two periods of delay, first being period between General Division’s release of its decision and when she filed her application for leave to appeal to Appeal Division, and second being two years from when she stopped working due to injury until she applied for EI. Appeal Division’s decision was not unreasonable. Appeal Division applied correct legal tests, both for application to extend time limits and question whether to grant leave to appeal. Appeal Division took into account facts that were before it, and noted that some evidence on key points such as applicant’s claimed contacts with Service Canada was simply not put before General Division. While applicant’s feeling that decision did not reflect her overall approach to seeking workers’ compensation benefits first was understandable, time limits set out in EI system served important policy goals and could not be ignored. Applicant explained why she thought it was right thing to do to wait to claim EI benefits, but she failed to follow rules established by law.

Mora v. Canada (Attorney General) (2020), 2020 CarswellNat 248, 2020 FC 140, William F. Pentney J. (F.C.).

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