Shameful backlog of cases at Social Security Tribunal
November 18th, 2014 - 2:17pm
Today, Social Security Tribunal Chairperson Murielle Brazeau confirmed that a significant backlog of cases was apparent from the day the Tribunal opened; that she was first in touch with Minister Kenney about insufficient staffing at the Tribunal over a year ago; that there are no performance measures or standards currently in place at the Tribunal, and that it is currently not possible to estimate when the backlog – now at more than 14, 677 cases – can be cleared.
“If we look at the section with the biggest backlog -- Income Security – and assume they’ll continue processing cases at the rate they’ve been going, it will take 11 years to clear it,” said NDP critic for Employment and Social Development Jinny Sims (Newton-North Delta). “Even if they double staff now, it will still take 5.5 years.”
The Conservative government did its best to limit the damning testimony by allowing the Official Opposition only five minutes to ask questions of Ms. Brazeau.
“Ms. Brazeau could not even provide an estimate on when we’ll see the backlog cleared,” said NDP deputy critic for Employment and Social Development Sadia Groguhé (Saint-Lambert). “It’s been over a year and a half since the Tribunal’s inception, and the situation is worse than ever.”