During the COVID-19 outbreak, the Social Benefits Tribunal (SBT) is holding all hearings by teleconference until further notice to provide access to justice in a fair and efficient manner, while protecting the health and safety of the people of Ontario.

Telephone Hearings

Hearings will continue to take place at the time noted on the Notice of Hearing. If you don’t have access to a telephone or telephone service, or if you need to ask for an adjournment, contact the SBT by email, fax or mail within 15 days of the Notice of Hearing. The SBT will determine adjournments on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration any hardships or compelling reasons not to proceed.

If your request for adjournment is denied, or if you are not able to make a request before the hearing date, you can ask the adjudicator at the hearing for an adjournment. Adjudicators will take a flexible approach in considering requests for adjournment, but you should be ready to proceed on the date of your hearing if your request was previously denied.

Interim Assistance

The SBT will prioritize interim assistance matters during the COVID-19 outbreak. Interim assistance may be available to individuals who are waiting for a hearing before the SBT and are experiencing financial hardship. Interim assistance includes basic financial assistance or income support and drug and dental benefits and may include other items in exceptional circumstances. A Request for Interim Assistance can be submitted by email, fax or mail.

All front-line counter services remain closed until further notice. Contact the office by email at SBT.Registrar@ontario.ca or call (416) 326-0978 or toll-free 1(800) 753-3895. For TTY relay service, dial 1(800) 855-0511.

The SBT continues to monitor COVID-19 developments and will inform Ontarians and stakeholders of any further operational changes.

Sarah Copeland
Communications Branch