Excerpt of Article by Jordan Press | Canadian Press
Auditors found the department had little in the way of a quality assurance system to make sure decisions were consistent. The audit found one-third of applicants originally denied disability benefits were later found to be eligible, raising questions about why they were denied in the first place.
If denied a second time by the department, applicants would then turn to a panel of judges, which was established in 2013 in an effort to eliminate a growing backlog of cases. Instead, applicants waited an average of 884 days for the panel of judges to make a decision.
That led to the government setting up a triage unit in the department to deal with cases — a unit whose mandate has no end in sight — all because the new a panel of judges had been set up without consulting officials who ran the previous appeals system. As a result, the a panel of judges was left understaffed and under-resourced to deal with a backlog of more than 6,500 cases at its inception — a backlog that had swelled to 10,871 cases by December 2014.
In one case cited in the audit, the panel accidentally dropped a request for a speedier hearing from a patient with terminal cancer. Even though the tribunal eventually denied disability benefits on non-medical grounds, the person “had to wait longer than necessary for a decision,” auditors found.
The critical review of the benefits system was one of seven audits released by Ferguson’s office Tuesday that illustrate what Ferguson characterized as good intentions falling short of their mark.
If I didn’t know the article was published by a Canadian News Agency about the Canadian disability system, I would have guessed the article was about this disability agencies in American that treat veterans and civilians.
Thanks to Jordan Press for writing the article; Canadian Press for committing its resources to the article; Google for helping me find the article; and all the people who, directly or indirectly, made it possible for me to include the picture and text in this post.