Accelerated Hearing Process (AHP) FAQ
- What is the Accelerated Hearing Process?
- What is an accelerated hearing?
- How will the AHP affect claimants who need a hearing urgently because they are in failing health?
- How will the AHP affect claimants who have submitted all mandatory documents and whose claims are hearing-ready?
- How is an accelerated hearing different from an expedited hearing?
- How is an accelerated hearing similar to an expedited hearing?
- How is an accelerated hearing different from a normal hearing?
- Will claims be resolved more quickly because of the Accelerated Hearing Process?
- Will claimants wait longer for a decision in the AHP than in cases where documents are submitted prior to the hearing?
- Will the quality of the hearing experience or the amount of compensation be changed by participation in the Accelerated Hearing Process?
- Will the rights of alleged perpetrators be affected in the Accelerated Hearing Process?
- Will legal fees be affected in the Accelerated Hearing Process?
Participating in the Accelerated Hearing Process
- What are the steps in the Accelerated Hearing Process?
- How will cases be selected for an accelerated hearing?
- How can I request an accelerated hearing?
- How can lawyers with a small volume of cases participate in the AHP?
- Where will accelerated hearings be scheduled?
- Can I substitute claimants for an accelerated hearing after the hearing is scheduled?
- Can a claimant choose the gender of the adjudicator for an accelerated hearing?
Pre-hearing teleconferences in the AHP
- Why is a pre-hearing teleconference required before an accelerated hearing?
- What documents will be provided before the pre-hearing teleconference?
- What will happen at the pre-hearing teleconferences?
- Who will attend the pre-hearing teleconferences?
- How many pre-hearing teleconferences will be required?
Hearings in the AHP
- What happens if document collection is complete before an accelerated hearing?
- What happens if mandatory document submission is not complete before an accelerated hearing?
- What happens if I need to cancel or reschedule a hearing?
- Can a Short Form Decision result from an accelerated hearing?
- Can a negotiated settlement be reached in the accelerated hearing process?
- Two hearings per day
- Travel and logistics
After the hearing
- What happens if a medical or expert assessment is required after the hearing?
- What happens if more testimony is required from the claimant after documents are collected or an assessment is held?
- What happens if a claimant passes away after the hearing, before a decision is issued?
- Who will follow up on mandatory documents after the hearing?
- What happens if document collection is not completed in a timely manner after the hearing?
- Contact information
The Accelerated Hearing Process (AHP) is a new initiative designed to increase the number of hearings that can be held each week by scheduling hearings for claims that are not hearing-ready alongside hearing-ready cases in order to fill a week with hearings in a given geographic area.
The benefits of the AHP include earlier hearing dates for claimants, an increase in the number of hearings that can be held each week and the preservation of the claimant’s testimony.
An accelerated hearing is an IAP hearing that is scheduled even though some mandatory documents have not been submitted. Accelerated hearings are scheduled alongside hearing-ready cases (regular hearings) in the same week in a given geographic area.
The Adjudication Secretariat will continue to schedule expedited hearings for claimants who provide medical evidence that any delay in hearing their testimony involves a significant risk that they may pass away or lose the capacity to attend a hearing. These hearings will continue to be the top priority for scheduling.
How will the AHP affect claimants who have submitted all mandatory documents and whose claims are hearing-ready?
The Adjudication Secretariat will continue to schedule hearings on a timely basis for claimants whose claims are hearing-ready. Normally, these hearings are scheduled in ‘blocks’ of multiple hearings in the same location. Accelerated hearings, for claims that are not yet hearing-ready, may be added to these blocks to increase the number of hearings held each week.
Expedited hearings are scheduled on an emergency basis when the claimant provides medical evidence that any delay in hearing their testimony involves a significant risk that they may pass away or lose the capacity to attend a hearing. Generally, the Adjudication Secretariat is able to schedule an expedited hearing on two weeks’ notice when necessary.
Accelerated hearings are not scheduled on an emergency basis. Rather, they are scheduled far in advance to maximize scheduling efficiency and provide time for active file management techniques to make the claim hearing-ready.
As with the current expedited hearing process, an accelerated hearing can be scheduled even if some mandatory documents are not available, for the purpose of preserving the claimant’s testimony. If the claim cannot be concluded by the time of the hearing, final submissions will be postponed until all of the required documents have been submitted. The adjudicator will not begin writing a decision until after final submissions have been made.
The hearing will be very similar to a normal hearing. The primary purpose of the hearing is to obtain the claimant’s evidence using the inquisitorial model. Unless document production is complete or the parties agree, final submissions will not take place at an accelerated hearing. Rather, final submissions will be made during a conference call that will be scheduled once all the mandatory documents are submitted. The adjudicator will not begin writing a decision until after final submissions have been made.
Some claims may be resolved more quickly under the AHP, but this will not be the case in many claims. The primary objective of an accelerated hearing is to ensure that the claimant’s testimony is preserved. All the normal steps in the hearing process still take place, including mandatory document submission, final submissions, and decision-writing.
In most cases, the time between the claim being admitted and the decision being rendered in the Accelerated Hearing Process is expected to be about the same as for hearings in the regular process.
Will claimants wait longer for a decision in the AHP than in cases where documents are submitted prior to the hearing?
The situation will vary from claim to claim. If mandatory document collection is not complete at the time of an accelerated hearing, the claimant may wait longer for a decision than they would if all documents are submitted before the hearing.
However, active file management by the adjudicator, before and after the hearing, will help reduce this waiting period.
The time between a hearing and decision can be stressful for many claimants. Lawyers must ensure that claimants have access to Resolution Health Support Workers and other emotional support mechanisms. As well, lawyers should provide realistic time expectations to their clients and keep them updated on a regular basis. A decision cannot be written until all required mandatory documents have been submitted and final submissions have been made.
Will the quality of the hearing experience or the amount of compensation be changed by participation in the Accelerated Hearing Process?
No. Hearings will continue to be conducted by skilled adjudicators who use an inquisitorial model to bring out and test the claimant’s evidence. The adjudicator will make his or her compensation decision only after receiving all the mandatory documents and hearing submissions from the parties.
No. Alleged perpetrators will still be contacted and have the right to participate on the same basis as any other claim. Hearings for alleged perpetrators are normally held after the claimant’s hearing. As in any other case, the claimant may be recalled to give further testimony after the alleged perpetrator’s hearing, although this happens rarely.
No. The normal process for legal fee reviews, as set out in the Implementation Orders, applies to all IAP claims.
In 2012, the Adjudication Secretariat undertook a pilot project to improve the timeliness of hearings for claimants over the age of 65. The project provided an opportunity to try different approaches to scheduling hearings and to actively manage case files. The results of the pilot project and feedback from project participants led to the development of the Accelerated Hearing Process.
The IAP Oversight Committee, comprised of representatives of former students, claimants’ counsel, church organizations, and Canada, has unanimously endorsed this process.
The Adjudication Secretariat plans to implement the AHP on a permanent basis, although the number of claims that receive an accelerated hearing at any one time will depend on the number of expedited and regular hearings scheduled.
The success of the AHP will be continually monitored and results will be reported to the IAP Oversight Committee. The Adjudication Secretariat will continue to seek improvements to the process that it uses to resolve claims.
Yes. No claimant is required to have an accelerated hearing if they do not want to. The Adjudication Secretariat expects that lawyers will advise their clients of this option and act on their client’s instructions.
If a claimant chooses not to have an accelerated hearing, he or she is still eligible for an expedited hearing upon presentation of the appropriate medical evidence, or a regular hearing upon submission of the mandatory documents.
The primary steps are:
- The Adjudication Secretariat identifies non-hearing-ready cases that could be scheduled alongside an existing block of hearing-ready cases.
- The Secretariat presents files for consideration to claimant counsel for review.
- Claimant counsel consults with the claimant and advises the Secretariat that (a) the claimant wishes to proceed with an accelerated hearing regardless of whether the adjudicator is male or female; and (b) the file can be scheduled for hearing at the proposed time and place.
- The Secretariat produces a file activity history and a teleconference evidentiary package.
- The assigned adjudicator conducts a file management teleconference.
- The adjudicator prepares a teleconference report, which is provided to the parties.
- The hearing takes place.
- Once all outstanding mandatory documents have been submitted, final submissions are made via teleconference, and the adjudicator writes the decision.
The Adjudication Secretariat will suggest non-hearing-ready cases that could be heard in the same location as a block of hearing-ready cases. In selecting cases, the Secretariat will take into account the priorities in the Settlement Agreement, including the claimant’s age and health. As well, the Secretariat will consider the length of time since admission and the efficiency of scheduling an accelerated hearing.
Once the Adjudication Secretariat has identified potential claims for accelerated hearings, the files will be presented to the claimant’s counsel to determine if the case should be scheduled for an accelerated hearing.
The Adjudication Secretariat suggests cases for accelerated hearings based on the above criteria. Claimant Counsel may assist in the following ways: :
- Counsel should ensure that the Secretariat has up-to-date information on the claimant’s health and preferred hearing location; and
- When a block of hearing-ready claims is being scheduled, counsel may suggest other claimants represented by the same lawyer who could be heard in the same location; and
- When the Secretariat provides a list of files for consideration for scheduling an accelerated hearing and counsel finds that the suggested files are not suitable for an accelerated hearing, counsel may at that time make recommendations for alternate cases for the same block of hearings.
Lawyers with a small volume of cases can help ensure their clients receive consideration for accelerated hearings in several ways:
- provide the Secretariat with up-to-date information on the claimant’s health and preferred hearing location; and
- ask their clients if they are willing to travel to alternative hearing locations where blocks of hearing-ready files are more likely to be scheduled.
Accelerated hearings will normally be scheduled in the same location as hearings for a block of hearing-ready claims.
No. Once a hearing is scheduled, only the scheduled claimant can be heard at that hearing. The postponement policy (GP-7) will apply to any cancellation or postponement.
Generally, no. Because accelerated hearings are scheduled alongside blocks of hearing-ready cases, the gender of the adjudicator will be determined by the Adjudication Secretariat taking into account the preferences expressed by the claimants whose regular hearings have been scheduled.
A pre-hearing teleconference will allow the adjudicator to assist in attempting to make non-hearing-ready files ready for hearing. The teleconference will also help the adjudicator confirm many of the arrangements for the hearing, including:
- whether new allegations will be made, or whether existing allegations will be withdrawn;
- whether Canada has completed its research into the claim;
- the status of document production;
- the need for medical / expert assessments, or whether these could be waived; and
- logistical arrangements for the hearing.
In addition, the adjudicator will encourage self-represented claimants to retain legal counsel during the pre-hearing teleconference.
All mandatory documents received to date and a file history summary will be provided before the pre-hearing teleconference.
The Adjudicator will lead the conversation with Canada’s representative and counsel for represented claimants and with the self-represented claimants to discuss how the hearing will proceed and to maximize the prospects of the claim being concluded by the time of the hearing.
The following participants will attend the pre-hearing teleconference:
- The adjudicator
- Canada’s representative
- Claimant counsel
- One Secretariat employee may participate
Generally, only one pre-hearing teleconference will be scheduled for each claim.
If all mandatory documents are submitted prior to an accelerated hearing, it will proceed as a regular hearing.
Where mandatory document submission is not complete by the hearing date, the hearing will still proceed and document submission will continue after the hearing.
Final submissions will be made at a post hearing teleconference, once all of the mandatory documents have been submitted. The adjudicator will not begin writing a decision until after final submissions have been made.
The IAP postponement policy (GP-7) applies to all hearings, including accelerated hearings. The party requesting the cancellation or postponement must make the request to the adjudicator, who may grant or deny the postponement. For more information, see http://iap-pei.ca/legal/directives-eng.php?act=gp-7-eng.php.
Yes, short form decisions can be issued following accelerated hearings, provided the claimant is represented by counsel, mandatory document submission is complete and the other requirements for a short-form decision are met. For more information see http://www.iap-pei.ca/legal/dir/pd-2-eng.php.
Yes. Nothing prevents the parties from reaching a negotiated settlement at any time prior to the adjudicator’s decision.
Scheduling two hearings per day may be an appropriate option where the claimants are in good health, well-prepared for the hearing, do not require an interpreter, agree to a half day hearing and have relatively straightforward claims.
Two hearings may be scheduled in one day only when the following conditions are met:
- claimant counsel request it;
- claimant counsel confirm in writing that the claimants are well-prepared, in good health, do not require interpreters, and their hearings can be safely concluded in a half day; and
- the adjudicator agrees after taking into account the wishes of all participating parties.
As well, two hearings per day will not occur back-to-back in a block, but would be scheduled such that there is a day in between with a full-day hearing.
No. Two hearings per day will be scheduled only where the claimant requests it and the adjudicator agrees, taking into account the wishes of the parties.
This should happen rarely, because the claimant’s counsel has previously confirmed in writing that the file meet the required criteria, listed above.
If the hearing has not concluded on time, the adjudicator will determine how to proceed after considering the wishes of the participating parties.
Travel and logistical arrangements for accelerated hearings are the similar to those for regular hearings, but there are several important differences. Please consult the AHP process document, which is available in the IAP decision database, for further details.
The process for medical or expert assessments for accelerated hearings is the same as for regular hearings.
What happens if more testimony is required from the claimant after documents are collected or an assessment is held?
If it becomes necessary to recall the claimant to provide further testimony, the adjudicator will advise the Secretariat, which will make the necessary arrangements.
Normally, the hearing will be reconvened by teleconference, but it can be held in person where the adjudicator deems it necessary, such as in cases where credibility or reliability is at issue.
In the unfortunate event that a claimant passes away following an accelerated hearing, the claimant’s testimony will be preserved and available for use once mandatory documents and final submission are complete.
There are certain administrative requirements before the Adjudication Secretariat can deal with the representative of an estate. The Secretariat will provide information on these requirements to the estate’s representative upon notification of a claimant’s death.
Claimant counsel (or Claimant Services, in cases where the claimant is self-represented) is responsible for following up and submitting mandatory documents following the hearing. In cases where documents are not received within a reasonable period of time, the Secretariat or the Adjudicator will follow up with claimants’ counsel (or Claimant Services).
The adjudicator cannot hear final submissions or write a decision until all the mandatory documents have been received, or the parties agree that certain documents are not required.
IAP Info Line: 1-877-635-2648
The Secretariat will contact claimant counsel regarding files being considered for an accelerated hearing.