PSAC members who have suffered personal or financial consequences due to Phoenix, whether they be current or former employees or the estate representative of a deceased member, can make one or several claims for severe impacts.
PSAC strongly encourages you to make a claim.
This claims process is administered by an independent office – the Claims Office – at Treasury Board.
Depending on the type of claim, a minimum threshold of $1,500 may apply. This means that you are eligible for compensation if the total amount of your claim exceeds $1,500.
This minimum threshold will only be applied once for all claims submitted through this process.
These claims are meant to compensate current and former employees for losses such as:
- Leave taken because of Phoenix-related health issues;
- Mental anguish, such as developing a mental illness, having to see a doctor, seek counselling, go on medication, or otherwise having your mental health impacted by Phoenix;
- Losses related to going on disability, maternity or parental leave, in certain situations;
- Pain and suffering due to discrimination as defined under the Canadian Human Rights Act (for example, if your disability or family status were a factor in you being adversely affected by Phoenix);
- Negative impacts to your career;
- Loss of security clearance, bankruptcy or significant credit rating impact;
- Forced resignation from the public service because of financial hardship.
You can review a full list of claims, and the documents you will need for making each one, on Treasury Board’s Claim compensation for severe impacts website.
If you are not sure whether you should accept an offer from the Claims Office or you’re not satisfied with the outcome of your severe impacts claim, PSAC can help. You can reach out to our Phoenix support team by choosing “Phoenix - appeal your severe impact claim” in the drop-down menu.
- 1. Am I eligible to submit a claim?
Currently, only federal public servants (or their estates) who were employed in the core public administration or a separate agency between April 1, 2016 and March 31, 2020 and who suffered losses during that timeframe can apply. This is because the claims process was created through the Phoenix damages agreement negotiated by PSAC in October 2020.
However, if you’ve suffered Phoenix-related losses since April 2020, you may be able to apply for compensation in the future. PSAC is currently negotiating a new agreement to extend the claims process beyond 2020.
We will notify current and former members if this agreement is reached.
Please keep your contact information up to date via the member portal to get the latest news.
- 2. Is there a deadline to submit a claim?
There is no deadline to submit a severe impacts claim. However, we encourage you to submit one as soon as possible so that you receive your compensation more quickly.
- 3. Do I have to submit a claim even if I've filed a Phoenix grievance?
Even if you already filled a Phoenix grievance, you need to submit a claim for severe impacts so that you can receive compensation.
The severe impact claims process is a replacement for the grievance process. It was designed this way so all members, even those who didn’t file a Phoenix grievance, would receive general damages and have the opportunity to apply for compensation for severe impacts.
- 4. How do I start my application?
- 5. Tips for submitting your claim
- Prepare your claim in a separate document before you submit it online. The online portal does not allow you to return to a saved claim form, so to avoid losing your work, make sure you draft your answers and collect the necessary documentation before submitting it into the online form.
- Make sure to keep a copy of the claim form for your records, as well as all of your receipts and/or appropriate documentation.
- You will not be sent a copy of your application.
- You will not be able to access your application once it’s been submitted; you will just be able to check the status.
- You can “print” and save a PDF copy of your application once it’s complete before you submit it.
- You may need a copy of the claim you submitted in case we need to appeal the claim decision.
- Get a doctor’s note, if possible. If you’re claiming mental anguish or are applying for a reimbursement of leave, your claim will have a higher chance of success if you’re able to include a note from your doctor, psychologist, counsellor or other mental health professional showing that your health issue was caused by Phoenix. If you’re not able to get a doctor’s note, do not worry – you can still make a claim using emails from a manager or your own attestation.
- Include as much relevant documentation as possible. You can attach doctors’ notes, written statements from yourself (signed), etc. However, don’t include irrelevant documentation as this may make it harder for the Claims Office to assess your file.
- Don't hesitate to ask questions as you’re working on your claim. Your first point of contact if you have questions is the Claims Office. You can call them at 1-833-670-2715 and email them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- 6. How long will it take to assess my claim?
It normally takes a few months to receive a decision, depending on the complexity of your case.
However, the Claims Office has up to 2 years from the time they receive the claim to make a decision.
You can check the status of your claim here.
- 7. Who will assess my claim?
Treasury Board has set up an independent Claims Office for assessing severe impact claims, which is staffed by Claims Officers who are public servants with a background in pay administration.
- 8. What is the process for assessing my claim?
- A Claims Officer will assess your file.
- The Claims Officer will contact you if they need more documentation or information about your case.
- Tip: The Claims Officer can also schedule a video or phone call with you if necessary, and you can request one.
- You will receive a decision letter which will be in chart form. It will include each type of damages you’ve applied for and the reasons for accepting or rejecting the claim. It will also include a release which you can sign if you agree with the decision.
- Once you receive the decision, you can ask the Claims Office to reconsider the decision. If applicable, we recommend providing additional information and documentation that can further support your claim.
- 9. Should I sign the release?
If the Claims Office approves your claim, in whole or in part, you can agree to accept the payment offered.
You are required to sign a release for any claim you are accepting before the claim is paid out to you.
If you agree with the Claims Office’s assessment of some claims but not others, the release allows you to check off the specific claim you are accepting. You can then appeal any claims that you believe were wrongly assessed. Do not sign the release if you do not agree with the amount offered by the Claims Office. If you disagree with the amount, you can appeal the decision by referring the decision to the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB).
Yara applied for interest on missing pay as well as compensation for mental anguish. The Claims Office approved the claim for interest on missing pay as well mental anguish. Yara accepts the amount being offered for the interest but disagrees with the amount offered for mental anguish.
Yara should sign only the release acknowledging she agrees to accept the payment for the lost interest on missing pay. She can appeal the Claims Office’s assessment of mental distress damages, which she disagrees with, to the FPSLREB.
If you’re not sure whether you should accept the Claims Office’s decision, you can reach out to us by going to the Contact Us section of our website and choosing “Phoenix - appeal your severe impact claim” drop-down from the “What is your inquiry about?” field. We can take a look at your decision letter and provide advice.
- 10. What if I don’t agree with the decision made by the Claims Office?
First, you can ask the Claims Office to reassess its decision. You can set up a call with them and submit additional documents or information to them if necessary.
If you’re still not satisfied after the reassessment, you should contact PSAC by going to the Contact us section of our website and choosing “Phoenix - Appeal a severe impact claim” from the “What is your inquiry about?” field. Someone from our Phoenix team will reach out to you to give you the next steps on whether and how to appeal the decision.
Reach out to PSAC as soon as you receive the decision. Currently, there is no deadline for referring your claim to adjudication, but as of October 2024, the deadline to appeal will be 40 days from the date of the decision letter.
- 11. What does a severe impact claim appeal look like?
If your claim is denied, in whole or in part, you have the right to appeal the decision by referring the severe impact claim to adjudication.
Contact PSAC’s Phoenix team as soon as possible after receiving your decision by selecting “Phoenix - Appeal a severe impact claim” in the drop-down menu on the Contact us section of our website.
Currently, there is no timeframe to refer your decision to adjudication as we have agreed with the employer to put timelines on hold until October 2024. However, as of October 2024, the deadline to appeal will be 40 days from the date of the decision letter.
Attach a copy of your original application and decision letter from the Claims Office to help us assess your file more quickly.
The Phoenix team will reach out to you. We will assess the strength of your file and determine whether we can appeal the decision to an accelerated adjudication process set up before the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB).
In order to assess your claim, we need the following information:
- A copy of the severe impact claim decision letter
- A copy of the application form(s) you filled out along with all attachments (if you do not have a copy of these documents, let us know)
- Confirmation whether you have asked the TBS claims office to reconsider the decision
- What claim types you were denied and wish to challenge
- A brief description of why you wish to challenge the claim(s)
- A phone number and personal (non-work) email address where you can be reached
After your claim is referred to adjudication, your claim will proceed before the Federal Public Sector Labour Relations and Employment Board (FPSLREB) by either mediation, written submissions or oral hearing. PSAC has representatives who will represent you before the FPSLREB.