Ottawa set to make changes to Canada's social security tribunal

Changes are coming to Canada's social security tribunal, with a renewed focus on serving people who challenge benefit decisions instead of making them jump through administrative hoops.

In the coming weeks, the federal government says it will implement the first of dozens of recommendations contained in a newly-released review of the appeals body.

The recommendations include using simpler language in decisions, as well as giving those who use the tribunal the ability to decide how they want their case heard:  in person, over the phone or via video conference.

There are also calls for the tribunal and Employment and Social Development Canada, which handles employment insurance and Canada Pension Plan decisions, to more easily share information so people aren't asked to supply information already in their case files.

Social Development Minister Jean-Yves Duclos, who ordered the latest review, says the initial actions will focus on making it easier for people to navigate the system and on shortening the time it takes to make a decision.