Mrs. Grant (not her real name) was a woman with an unfortunate medical history. She suffered from fibromyalgia since age 25, from osteoarthritis more recently, and she had additional chronic pain sustained from injuries incurred in automobile accidents. When she went to apply for a standard Canada Pension Plan early retirement benefit, at age sixty, a CPP official advised her that she may well be entitled to a disability pension, instead.
So, Mrs. Grant applied for a CPP disability pension. Unfortunately, her initial application was denied. She asked for a reconsideration. She received another denial. Why? Because she could not prove that she was “totally disabled” by certain date, many years in the past.
After two denials, Mrs. Grant turned to the CAW Legal Services Plan for help.
She attended our Windsor office and explained her situation to one of our lawyers. He advised her that, in order to successfully appeal the denial, she would need medical documentation about her condition, as it was, long ago. He then located some of her past medical practitioners, who remembered her situation and provided excellent reports. He then used this additional, very significant medical evidence at the Review Tribunal hearing, where all three members of the panel agreed that she was, indeed, entitled to Canada Pension Disability benefits.
But for the CAW Legal Services Plan, Mrs. Robinson would not have been able to afford a lawyer to assist in obtaining all required medical information, and to present it in a coherent fashion to the Review Tribunal.
Submitted by Ron Reaume,
Assistant Managing Lawyer