Susan Hume Smith v Canada (Attorney General) and Justice for Children and Youth [CPP benefits]
Court: Federal Court of Appeal, 2023
JFCY has intervened in the appeal of a matter before the Social Security Tribunal. As a result of a disability, Susan Hume Smith (SS, the parent) is unable to work, and for many years has been the recipient of the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) disability benefit. SS was unaware that her children were also entitled to apply for and receive a children’s benefit under the CPP. Once they became aware of the benefit, they applied and were granted benefits, but their benefits were limited by a legislated cap on retroactive benefits.
SS appealed the decision to the Tribunal’s General Division, which found in her favour and held that the retroactive cap was discriminatory under section 15 of the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
The federal government appealed the General Division’s decision to the Tribunal’s Appeal Division. JFCY intervened in the appeal and made submissions on the pre-existing disadvantage faced by children and by children of a parent with a disability, and the discriminatory impact of the retroactive cap. The Appeal Division allowed the appeal, and found that there was a lack of evidence to demonstrate that the cap discriminated against children of a parent with a disability.
SS has filed an application for judicial review of the Tribunal’s Appeal Division to the Federal Court of Appeal (Court file no. A-238-21). JFCY has been granted intervener status and a hearing date is likely to be scheduled for early 2023.
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