What time limits apply to my claim?
Under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, the time limit to appeal a decision by the Operating Level of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) to their Appeals Services Division can be either 30 days or six months, depending on the type of decision. For more information, see Appeals at the WSIB.
If you discover that you have missed a time limit, seek help from a qualified representative as soon as possible. Both the WSIB and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) have the authority to extend time limits.
What should I do if I did not appeal on time?
First, you should complete an Intent to Object Form and send it to the WSIB right away. This will prevent the appeal from being considered any later than it already is.
Unless the WSIB has already advised you about missing the time limit, it is not necessary to mention it at this point. The WSIB may simply allow you to proceed with your appeal without making an issue of the time limit.
In most cases, however, your Case Manager will write to advise you that the appeal is late and will not be sent to the Appeals Services Division. At this stage, it is necessary to ask for an extension of the time limit. Sometimes, it may be better to ask for a reconsideration of the decision, instead of an extension of the time limit to appeal the decision.
When should I ask for a reconsideration instead of an extension?
You should request a reconsideration of the decision if it was decided within the past two years and one of the following is true:
there is a technical error in the decision that needs to be corrected (for example, wrong dates, policy, or earnings information), or
there is substantial new evidence (for example, new medical testing, breakthroughs in medical science, or other information that did not exist within the appeal period)
If the WSIB denies your request for a reconsideration, you can still ask for an extension of the time limit to appeal the decision.
When will the WSIB extend the time limit to appeal a decision?
The WSIB will only extend the time limit to appeal a decision in limited circumstances.
The WSIB considers the following factors in deciding whether to grant an extension of an appeal time limit:
if there were serious health problems (either your own or someone in your immediate family)
if you had to leave the province or country due to the poor health or death of someone in your family
if someone actually told or wrote to you about the time limit (for example, decisions made before 1998 did not advise workers about appeal time limits)
whether there are other issues that you had appealed on time that are so intertwined to the issue for which you missed the time limit that they cannot reasonably be addressed without waiving the time limit
if an organic or non-organic condition prevented you from understanding and/or meeting the time limit
What if my circumstances are different from those listed above?
The factors listed above are just examples. There is nothing to prevent a WSIB decision-maker from considering other factors. In the end, you need a good reason to explain why you did not appeal the decision on time. If you have a good reason and it is not listed above, you should still tell the WSIB about it and ask for an extension of the time limit to appeal.
What if the WSIB does not extend the time limit to appeal the decision?
If a Case Manager denies your request for an extension of the time limit, you can appeal that decision to an Appeals Resolution Officer (ARO) within six months of the date of that decision. See Appeals at the WSIB. If your appeal to the ARO is not successful, you can further appeal to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT). See Appeals at the WSIAT. If you win the WSIAT appeal, you can then go back to the ARO to appeal the first decision that you originally missed the time limit on.