OAS Processing Time (39 weeks and counting)
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Thread: OAS Processing Time (39 weeks and counting)

  1. #1
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    OAS Processing Time (39 weeks and counting)

    From time to time I have seen questions about how long Service Canada takes to process an OAS application. This is my wife's experience.

    She was born in Canada and has lived here all her life. She deferred OAS until she retired at nearly the age of 68. She applied by mail and when we called 4 months later, they acknowledged receiving the application on June 22, 2016. They said it was taking 32 weeks to process.

    Having heard nothing, we called again in week 33. The agent sent a message to the processing centre telling us they had 10 days to respond and asked us to call back.

    We called back 15 days later. There had been no response. The agent said she heard that Edmonton was backlogged. Also, because my wife didn't take retirement at 65, her calculations are more complicated. She is escalated it and said they would now have 2 days to respond. She said if they still didn't respond, she would escalate it to a supervisor. She said there have been times when she has had to escalate requests for information 7 times. I asked about involving our MP. She said we could do that, but didn't know if it would help. If there are a lot of MP complaints, she said my wife's request would just get added to the bottom of the pile.

    We called back 6 days later on March 1, 2017. They escalated it again and said to call back in 2 days. Since then we have called back many times, but after listening to their messages and selecting the correct menu items, we repeatedly end up receiving a message saying they are experiencing a high call volume, or words to that effect, and we cannot be placed on hold.

    We are now at 39 weeks since the date they acknowledge receiving the application. Exactly 9 months as of March 22, 2017.

    Last edited by Bruce_K; 2017-03-22 at 08:17 AM.

  2. #2
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    39 weeks to receive money from the govt. Hmm.

    I bet if you *owed* them, they'd have somebody available to take your money today.

  3. #3
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    You should ensure you know what your deferred payments should be as of the date of the application. Errors can happen, and the fact that they are using the complexity of your situation as an excuse for the delay, would concern me. Your first payment should be the sum of the payments due as of the date of your application.
    The good news is, that once it is in place, the monthly payments roll into your account regularity with no further interaction required.

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  5. #4
    Senior Member pwm's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce_K View Post
    We are now at 39 weeks since the date they acknowledge receiving the application. Exactly 9 months as of March 22, 2017.
    That's absolutely appalling. 0.6% more for each month over 65 is a complicated calculation? I'm sure my grandson in grade 5 could handle that. I'm concerned because I'm delaying my OAS to 70. I would appreciate it Bruce_K if you would keep us updated on your experience. Thanks for sharing.

  6. #5
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    A lot of things are taking time. It's not the processing time. It is the backlog of files that they have not even got to yet.

    Even CRA (Estate Dept). They are just now supposedly 'processing' a simple vanilla Capital Loss Carryback from a T3 Testamentary Trust return to a Final T1 Return that I made in late March 2016. And I provided them with the specific calculation which will take them all of 10 minutes to process. BUT it depends where the file is in the 14 metres high stack of files.

  7. #6
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    I would have called my MP long ago. Not sure about them dropping your wife's application to the bottom. What is that? some veiled threat?

    This is way too long. Have you spoken to other retirees? I wonder what their wait time was.

  8. #7
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    Another reason to take OAS @ 65 and be done with it.

    If you don't need it put it into an RRSP or TFSA or simply hold it as a contingency fund.

  9. #8
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    Terrible.

    We, fortunately, had the exact opposite experience with the CPP folks.

  10. #9
    Senior Member
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    I have also delayed OAS until 70, but one thing that the Service Canada website advises is that you can apply for your OAS pension up to 11 months before you want your OAS pension to start.
    So if you have decided when you are going to start collecting, then applying ahead of time may help.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce_K View Post
    From time to time I have seen questions about how long Service Canada takes to process an OAS application. This is my wife's experience.

    She was born in Canada and has lived here all her life. She deferred OAS until she retired at nearly the age of 68. She applied by mail and when we called 4 months later, they acknowledged receiving the application on June 22, 2016. They said it was taking 32 weeks to process.

    Having heard nothing, we called again in week 33. The agent sent a message to the processing centre telling us they had 10 days to respond and asked us to call back.

    We called back 15 days later. There had been no response. The agent said she heard that Edmonton was backlogged. Also, because my wife didn't take retirement at 65, her calculations are more complicated. She is escalated it and said they would now have 2 days to respond. She said if they still didn't respond, she would escalate it to a supervisor. She said there have been times when she has had to escalate requests for information 7 times. I asked about involving our MP. She said we could do that, but didn't know if it would help. If there are a lot of MP complaints, she said my wife's request would just get added to the bottom of the pile.

    We called back 6 days later on March 1, 2017. They escalated it again and said to call back in 2 days. Since then we have called back many times, but after listening to their messages and selecting the correct menu items, we repeatedly end up receiving a message saying they are experiencing a high call volume, or words to that effect, and we cannot be placed on hold.

    We are now at 39 weeks since the date they acknowledge receiving the application. Exactly 9 months as of March 22, 2017.
    I am pleased to report back that in week 40, we went to our MP's constituency office Friday March 24, 2017 late in the afternoon. His Executive Assistant called and spoke to someone at Service Canada directly while we waited. She connected immediately. The person at Service Canada didn't see any notes on file, but said they would call the EA back on Monday. This morning, Monday March 27, 2017 we checked my wife's Service Canada account and it still didn't show anything. However, we received a call this afternoon from the MP's EA advising that the OAS application had been approved. We went online again around 4PM. Now, the OAS payment was showing, but it was the wrong amount; approximately $140/month too low. We emailed the EA who emailed back 16 minutes later (after the constituency office had already closed for the day) and advised that she had contacted Service Canada and included what the amounts would actually be; they are correct. She was advised that the online info is updated weekly. Since this was only approved today it can either;
    *
    a)***** Be corrected by April 3rd
    b)***** Mid-April – if manually inputted.
    c)***** Updated the next payment cycle in May

    I have to say this is the first time I have ever contacted an MP's office for help on an issue and I'm glad we did. Of course, I find myself wondering if this approval suddenly happened out of sheer coincidence right after the MP's EA called them; I suspect not. I am impressed with the assistance we received. Our MP, by the way is in the opposition.

    Lesson learned: when you feel stymied by government bureaucracy and you have made a reasonable effort to resolve the issue on your own, go to your MP's office although I don't know if every constituency EA is as dynamic and efficient as this one. She mentioned she had been in this job for 17 years working for 3 different MP's. Apparently, she even had to intervene on behalf of a former MP who had the same problem we did, so Service Canada apparently annoys everyone, not just us peasants.

    By the way, "Ian" we also had good luck with CPP. My wife applied online June 19, 2016 and received her first cheque by online deposit 17 days later on July 6, 2016.


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