WSIB has updated the Appeals Practice and Procedures

 
​The WSIB has recently made some amendments to their Appeals Practice and Procedures.  Some of the important updates for injured workers are:
 
 
1. The WSIB will continue to accept a letter of objection to appeal a  decision
2. The definition of “credibility” has been restricted when requesting an oral hearing
3. More issues have been added to the “Oral Hearing List”


1. The WSIB will continue to accept a letter of objection to appeal a decision:

While they still prefer the Intent to Object (ITO), a letter will also be accepted to appeal. Therefore, if you have appealed a decision in a letter, rather than using the ITO, this should still satisfy the time limit to appeal.


2. The definition of “credibility” has been restricted when requesting an oral hearing:

The WSIB allows oral hearings when there is a question of credibility.  However, the changes have restricted how they define “credibility”.  Now if you intend to request an oral hearing because there is a credibility issue, you must show that:

  • there is significant conflicting information in the file, and 
  • your witness’s testimony will either be different from their prior statements to file, or different from the evidence as whole.

The WSIB has decided that oral hearings will not be granted just to allow a worker to testify to their level of disability, or when there is disagreement between the worker and employer about the nature or timing of a job offer.  In these cases the Appeals Resolution Officer will weigh the evidence based on written statements.


3. More issues have been added to the “Oral Hearing List”:

Finally, the WSIB has a list of issues that lend themselves to oral hearings.  They have added the following issues to the list:

  • Initial Entitlement – Disablement
  • Job Suitability with or outside of injury employer – factual dispute
  • Job Suitability – information about the offered job(s) and worker’s functional information is either not on file or is incomplete, and the parties disagreed about job suitability
  • Recurrence – 1 year or more from the date of injury/illness or 12 weeks or more of loss of earnings
  • (The old Appeals Procedures had this as 2 years from the date of injury/illness)
  • New organic condition where entitlement does not rest on medical compatibility
  • Secondary conditions where entitlement does not rest on medical compatibility
 
When your appeal issue fits within the oral hearing list, remember that you must still provide reasons on the Appeal Readiness Form (ARF) for why an oral hearing is necessary.  Just listing the topic is not enough.

More information can be found about the appeals process and changes on the WSIB website.
 
November 20, 2014