How to Appeal Decisions about Assistance

Any person (age 19 or over) that applies for or receives financial assistance under a Disability Support Program Program has the right to appeal the decision. There are pamphlets available at all Community Services offices that will tell you how to make an appeal and that include the forms you will need to do so. You can also ask your care coordinator to tell you more about the appeal process.

Here's how it works:

  1. You must submit written notice of your intention to appeal within 30 days of the original decision. You can obtain appeal forms at any Department of Community Services office or through your care coordinator. Once you have filled out the form, either mail it or drop it off at your local office.
  2. Within 10 days of the Department receiving your appeal form, an Administrative Review will be held. The Review is done by a qualified Community Services caseworker that was not involved in the original decision and is based on information provided by you and your care coordinator. We will send you the results in the mail immediately after it has been completed.
  3. If you are still not satisfied after the Administrative Review, you then have the option of requesting an Appeal Hearing. You must let us know within 20 days of hearing the results of Administrative Review if you wish to have a Hearing. If you do not contact us by then, we will assume you do not wish to have an Appeal Hearing and the case will be closed.
  4. You will receive the date of the Appeal Hearing by registered mail. At this hearing you can submit any documentation that you feel supports your case. If you wish, you can also bring legal representation, an advocate (someone to help you give your side of the story), a witness, and/or someone else that can give you support (such as friend or family member).
  5. The appeal hearing is held in front of an appeal board member. The appeal board member is a person appointed by the Minister of Community Services. They are not an employee of the Department, just someone who will look objectively at the facts of the case to make their decision. You will hear the decision within 7 days of the appeal hearing.
  6. If you are still dissatisfied with the results, you can appeal to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.

In summary, this is how the appeal procedure works:

  1. The initial decision is made by your care coordinator.
  2. You have 30 days to appeal the decision of your care coordinator.
  3. An Administrative Review is held.
  4. You have 10 days to appeal the decision of the Administrative Review.
  5. An Appeal Hearing is held.
  6. If you are still dissatisfied you can appeal to the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia.