Employment & Assistance Appeal Tribunal of BC

How to Prepare for your Appeal

The Tribunal is committed to providing an independent, community-based appeal process that is timely, accessible and respectful.

Support at Your Hearing

You can ask a family member, friend, or an advocate to come with you to the hearing or to help you prepare written information for the panel. If you need to find an advocate, visit PovNet’s website at www.povnet.org for a listing of advocacy agencies in or near your community.

You may bring an interpreter. If required, the Tribunal will find an interpreter for you.

If you want your advocate or a family member to communicate with the Tribunal on your behalf or receive information about your appeal, you will need to complete and return a Release of Information form. This ensures that you have control over who receives your personal information.

Preparing for Your Hearing

The Tribunal will provide you with a copy of the appeal record. To help you prepare:

  • Review the ministry’s reconsideration decision as it tells you the reasons why you were denied or found ineligible. Be prepared to tell the panel why you disagree with that decision.
  • Consider whether additional evidence would help your case. The panel can only admit oral and written evidence that is in support of the information and records that were before the ministry when the reconsideration decision was made.
  • Think about whether a witness would help your case. Witnesses will be asked to remain outside the hearing room until asked to testify. After testifying, they will be asked to leave unless you request they remain. If they remain, they cannot provide further testimony.
  • Review the sections of the acts or regulations that apply to your appeal.
  • Read prior panel decisions. These decisions won’t be followed by other panels, however they give you a sense of how the Tribunal dealt with similar appeals.
  • Review the Tribunal Practices & Procedures for information on the appeal process.
  • Watch the video clips about the hearing process.
  • Obtain copies of appeal forms, such as the Release of Information.

Your Hearing

Generally two members are appointed by the Tribunal Chair to hear your appeal. While the Tribunal attempts to accommodate your choice of hearing type, the Tribunal Chair will determine whether your hearing will be held in person, by telephone, by video conference, or by a combination of these types. For instance, it is not uncommon for in person hearings to have one member attend by telephone.

Written Hearing

You will be informed by letter of the timelines for giving information to the Tribunal. You will have seven business days to provide written reasons to support your case; include any additional information that you want the panel to consider. On receiving your submission, the Tribunal will forward it to the ministry, who has seven business days to respond. You will receive a copy of the ministry’s submission.

The panel will review the written submissions, determine if any additional evidence is admissible, and make a decision.

Oral Hearing

An oral hearing (in-person, teleconference or video conference) will normally take place within 15 business days after you submit your Notice of Appeal. You will be notified of the date, time and location of your hearing at least two business days before the hearing.

Bring your copy of the appeal record to the hearing. If possible, provide any additional evidence to the Tribunal prior to your hearing so it can be distributed on your behalf. Otherwise, bring copies to the hearing.

After Your Hearing

The panel decides whether the ministry’s decision was:

  • Reasonably supported by the evidence; or
  • A reasonable application of the legislation given your circumstances

The panel will then either agree with (confirm) the ministry’s decision or overturn (rescind) it in your favour. Generally, you will receive the written decision by mail within 10 business days of the date of your hearing.

How to Find an Advocate

The appeal process is intended to be an informal process that allows the parties an opportunity to make their case through an informal hearing process. If you need assistance with preparing for or presenting your case, you are encouraged to find an advocate.

PovNet provides an online directory of community-based advocates who work to assist people with their administrative law problems. Visit Find An Advocate at povnet.org to determine what resources are available in your community.

Brochure PDF: How to Prepare for Your Appeal

This Tribunal brochure is provided to appellants upon acceptance of their appeal.