Savoury, George Robert (1987) A study of the appeal process for social assistance recipients in Newfoundland. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.
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Appeal Boards serve as one mechanism for promoting administrative or social justice in public assistance. The Canada Assistance Plan (1966) required each of the provinces to establish welfare review tribunals and consequently each of the provinces and territories have Welfare Appeal Systems. The Canada Assistance Plan is the Federal Act that enables a province to receive reimbursement for one-half its annual expenditure on social welfare by entering into an agreement with the federal government. -- This study was undertaken to specifically examine the Appeal process from the following perspectives: (1) the characteristics of the original decisions made by the social service employee that prompted the appeal; (2) the characteristics of the clients that decided to appeal; (3) the characteristics of the appeals and (4) the outcome of the appeals. -- The review of the literature revealed that appeal systems have developed as an integral part of income-maintenance programs as a means to ensure that individuals receive their appropriate entitlement. The criticism of local agency practices reached its peak in 1970 with the United States Supreme Court's decision in Goldberg vs. Kelly, that AFDC recipients must be provided an opportunity to evidentiary hearings before termination of their benefits (O'Neil, cited in Hammer & Hartley, 1978). The relationship of legal representation on the outcome of appeals has been examined and while the findings indicate the need for Social Workers to be informed about the appeal procedures, it also found that petitioners without legal counsel were able to use the procedural safeguard of evidence presentation (Hagan, 1983). However, in order to utilize appeal opportunities more effectively, citizens must know that they exist and know the laws and regulations that constrain administrative practice. The need for expertise in pursuing grievances was also evident. -- This descriptive study involves an examination of appeals for the entire province of Newfoundland and Labrador for the period April 1, 1983, to March 31, 1986. A total of 293 appeals were examined. Case files for each of the 293 cases were examined and the relevant data was coded and transferred to a master list for review and analysis. Interviews were also conducted with the three members who comprise the Appeal Board. -- The findings revealed that the Appeal Board and employees have considerable discretion within the Social Assistance Act and Regulations and even within policy in making its decisions. The use of advocates to assist with the Appeal did not seem to have a significant overall difference on the outcome of the Appeal, however, the use of family relatives and legal aid lawyers did seem to positively impact upon the outcome of the hearing. -- According to the members of the Appeal Board, there are a number of barriers to the appeal process for Social Assistance recipients. They include not being aware of the appeal process; inability to attend hearings in central locations due to the distance from the hearings; clients not having the money to enable them to attend the hearings and the perception on the part of some clients that the Appeal Board is not independent.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Masters)|
|Additional Information:||Bibliography: leaves 73-75.|
|Department(s):||Social Work, School of|
|Geographic Location:||Canada--Newfoundland and Labrador;|
|Library of Congress Subject Heading:||Newfoundland. Social Assistance Appeal Board; Public welfare--Newfoundland and Labrador;|
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