Before the hearing

Hearing date and time

Generally, appeal hearings are held by teleconference. Hearings may also be held by videoconference or by document review only. The Appeals Secretariat will send you a letter with the date, time and details on how to participate. You are expected to take part in the appeal hearing on the date in the letter from the Appeals Secretariat.

Contact the Appeals Secretariat when you get their letter if:

  • you cannot attend the appeal hearing on the date it is scheduled. You may be able to reschedule the hearing to a date that you, the AISH program, and the appeal panel agree on
  • you and/or your support person requires an interpreter such as when you speak a language other than English or require American Sign Language (ASL) or another reasonable accommodation to participate in the hearing
  • you want information about organizations that may be able to help you with your appeal

You, or the person acting on your behalf, must take part in the hearing. If something comes up at the last minute and you or the person acting on your behalf are not able to attend, tell the Appeals Secretariat immediately. If this does not happen:

  • the Appeals Secretariat will try to contact you to reschedule the hearing
  • if the Appeals Secretariat cannot reach you, the appeal panel may decide you chose to end your appeal without telling anyone – this is called abandoning an appeal
  • the appeal panel’s decision that you abandoned your appeal is final
  • your right to appeal will end
  • your appeal will be closed

Your information

Once your appeal has been scheduled, the Appeals Secretariat will send you a document from the AISH program that explains the reason they will not change their decision and copies of the documents the AISH program provided to support their decision. Prepare for your appeal by reviewing these documents and consider:

  • the reasons you do not agree with the decision, (for example, you may want to point out specific items in the documents you provided to AISH that explain why you disagree with their decision)
  • if you want to give a person authority to act on your behalf, email, fax, or mail the Appeals Secretariat a signed Authorization form (PDF, 72 KB). There is no need to provide the form again if you have already provided it
  • if you are inviting anyone to support you during the hearing by speaking about your medical, financial, or personal situation, you must notify the Appeals Secretariat
  • provide the Appeals Secretariat with a list of the people you have arranged to participate in the appeal hearing at least three weeks before the hearing
    • you are not required to have supporters take part in the appeal hearing – the list is only needed if you choose to have them attend or take part

If other people will be participating in the appeal hearing, make sure to:

  • copy the Authorization form and/or the list of people who will attend or take part and email, fax, or mail the copies to the Appeals Secretariat at least 3 weeks before your hearing
  • tell anyone who is acting on your behalf or supporting you about the date, time and teleconference details
  • tell the Appeals Secretariat if you and/or your support person requires an interpreter (for example: language other than English, ASL) or another reasonable accommodation to participate in the hearing

Appeal package

The Appeals Secretariat sends an appeal package to you, the AISH program and the appeal panel at least 1 week before the hearing. Make sure to:

  • read this package when it comes – it includes copies of the documents the AISH program provided to support their decision
  • have the package with you for the appeal hearing
  • If you would like your supporters to have a copy of the appeal package for the appeal hearing, it is your responsibility to provide them with a copy

If you do not get the package or documents are missing, contact the Appeals Secretariat.

At the hearing

An appeal hearing usually lasts an hour. It is closed to the public and not recorded. Generally, appeal hearings are held by teleconference. These people will take part in person, by telephone or video conference:

  • 3 appeal panel members including 1 chair and 2 panel members
  • you and/or the people you said would be there acting on your behalf or supporting you
  • someone from the AISH program and any people they have supporting them

What takes place

  1. The chair introduces everyone and goes over the rules
  2. If you have one or more support people attending the hearing, the chair will clarify their role in the hearing
  3. If you and/or your support person requested a reasonable accommodation for the appeal hearing (for example: ASL interpreter), the chair will confirm if the accommodation has been provided
  4. The chair will then ask if:
    • you and the person from the AISH program understand the decision being appealed
    • anyone objects to the people on the panel or their right to decide your appeal
  5. If there are no objections, the chair asks if everyone received the appeal package and if they can confirm all their documents were included
  6. The person from the AISH program and their supporters present their information first. You and the panel will:
    • let them speak without interrupting them to hear why they made their decision
    • be able to ask questions after each person speaks
  7. Next, you or the person acting on your behalf, and others who support your appeal will present your information. The person from the AISH program and the panel will:
    • let you speak without interrupting you to hear why you disagree with the decision that was made
    • be able to ask questions after each person speaks
  8. The chair asks the person from the AISH program, then you or the person acting on your behalf, to summarize your information and the decision you would like the panel to make
  9. The chair ends the hearing and lets you know when you can expect the panel's decision

After the hearing

The appeal panel will decide to agree with, reverse or change part of the AISH program’s decision. Once this happens:

  • you will get a letter after the hearing with the appeal panel’s decision and reasons for the decision
  • the appeal panel’s decision is final – this means they cannot look at new information after the hearing or change their decision
  • you cannot file another appeal on the decision from the appeal panel nor the AISH program’s decision
  • if your appeal is about program eligibility, a new AISH application is required. No new information can be submitted without the new application

Concerns about the hearing

If you think the appeal hearing was unfair or the appeal panel’s decision does not follow the Assured Income for the Severely Handicapped Act or the Application and Appeals (Ministerial) Regulation, you have 2 options:

Option 1. File a complaint to the Ombudsman

You can make a complaint to the Alberta Ombudsman’s office. They cannot reverse or change an appeal panel decision, but they can:

  • review the appeal process
  • make recommendations, including that the appeal panel re-hear the case

Option 2. Apply for a judicial review

A judicial review happens through the Court of Queen’s Bench. The Court cannot reverse or change an appeal panel decision, however they can decide if the appeal panel:

  • acted within its legal authority
  • followed a fair process
  • made a reasonable decision based on the situation

When a judicial review happens, the Court:

  • cannot make a new decision
  • will send the case back for the appeal panel to hear again if it agrees the hearing was unfair – if this happens, different panel members will hear your appeal

If you wish to apply for a judicial review, you must:

Contact

Appeals Secretariat offices

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