Digest of Benefit Entitlement Principles Chapter 3 - Section 2

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3.2.0 Required conditions for antedate

An antedate may be allowed for an initial claim when the claimant is able to prove that he/she qualified to receive benefit on the earlier day and had good cause for the delay throughout the entire period of the delay Footnote 1 . The claimant must be able to establish a claim for benefits at the earlier date otherwise there can be no consideration given to antedate Footnote 2 . Failing that, if the qualifying conditions are met on a date subsequent to that for which the antedate was requested, the antedate can be considered as of that subsequent date.

In all other claims for benefit the claimant need only show good cause for the delay throughout the entire period for the antedate to be accepted Footnote 3 .

[ October 2003 ]

3.2.1 Good cause

Claimants who request an antedate must show good cause for not filing at the earlier date. Jurisprudence has held that good cause is simply doing what a reasonable person would do to satisfy themselves as to their rights and obligations under the Act. Therefore, an individual who makes the assumption that he or she does not qualify Footnote 4 , is indifferent or lacks concern as to his or her circumstances Footnote 5 , or makes no effort to ascertain his or her rights and obligations Footnote 6 cannot be said to have good cause because they cannot be said to have acted as a reasonable person would Footnote 7 .

Good cause, subject to the section below, must be shown to have existed throughout the whole period of the delay Footnote 8 . It is not necessary to account for every single day but it must be readily concluded that there was good cause without any break for the whole period. Furthermore the reason for the delay need not be the same throughout the period. There may be a succession of reasons provided each is considered to be good cause.

There can be no part-way positions based on for example mitigating circumstances saying that the claimant had some justification for the delay even if good cause was not present. There can only be one decision–either there was good cause or there was not.

3.2.2 Good cause for part period

There will be times when the reason given for the delay in making the claim amounts to good cause but for only part of the period being considered Footnote 9 . In these situations the deciding factor is whether or not good cause exists for that part of the delay that immediately precedes the day on which the initial claim was made. If so, antedating can be applied to the first day of that part of the delay for which there was good cause if not there can be no antedate. As a corollary, antedating cannot be approved for a period where there is good cause when that period precedes a period for which good cause does not exist.

3.2.3 Onus of proof

The language of the legal provisions requiring that good cause be shown for the delay in making the claim places the onus of proof on the claimant Footnote 10 . Often the question will resolve itself into a matter of credibility. In cases where doubt remains even after full particulars have been provided, it will be considered that the claimant failed to prove good cause.

3.2.4 Disqualification/disentitlement/allocation of earnings

Any disqualification or disentitlement which may be applicable for part or the whole period of the antedate does not prevent antedating, nor does an allocation of earnings Footnote 11 .

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