Manitoba Government Introduces Legislation That Would Amend the Social Services Appeal Board Act

March 7, 2022 – Proposed Changes will Provide Vulnerable Manitobans with Improved, More Flexible Appeal Process: Squires

The Manitoba government is introducing new legislation that would amend the Social Services Appeal Board Act to provide a more efficient and flexible process on how the board hears and decides cases filed with it, Families Minister Rochelle Squires announced today.

“These changes will allow the board to better focus resources on more complex and substantial appeals, relating to critical benefits and access to services that are necessary to the well-being of vulnerable Manitobans,” said Squires. “Currently, in an average year, more than 700 appeals are filed, placing great pressure on the board’s available time and resources.”

The Social Services Appeal Board provides Manitobans with a fair, impartial and informal appeal process for decisions relating to various social services and programs. These include Employment and Income Assistance program streams, Rent Assist, 55-Plus and Manitoba Prenatal benefits, Community Living disABILTY Services, Residential Care licensing, child-care licensing and subsidies and Adoption Agency licensing.

The proposed changes include increasing timelines for certain board procedures and allowing written appeals to be heard by a single board member rather than the three-member, in-person panel currently required. The board would also be given the ability to dismiss appeals that are considered frivolous or vexatious, allowing the board’s resources to focus on complicated appeals.

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