The Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) is the final level of appeal to which workers and employers may take disputes. WSIAT is separate from and independent of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB). WSIAT, however, is required to apply WSIB policy when deciding appeals. WSIAT can only hear an appeal when there is a final decision from WSIB.
Time limits for decisions made before January 1, 1998
Any WSIB decision made before January 1, 1998 had to be appealed by June 30, 1998. This includes appealing a final WSIB decision to WSIAT.
Time limits for appeals to WSIAT for decisions made on or after January 1, 1998
You have 6 months from the date of a final WSIB decision to appeal that decision to WSIAT. There are certain types of WSIB decisions that you cannot appeal to WSIAT, including decisions about employer-requested health exams and some commutations. It is recommended that you meet the time limit first and then consult with a qualified representative, even if you are unsure whether your decision can be appealed to WSIAT.
If you discover that you have missed an appeal time limit, you should obtain help from a qualified representative as soon as possible. See Appeal Time Limit Extensions: WSIB and Appeal Time Limit Extensions: WSIAT.
Who can appeal to WSIAT?
You can appeal to WSIAT if you are:
- an injured worker or an injured worker’s employer
- the spouse, dependant, or estate of a deceased injured worker
How do I appeal a final WSIB decision?
Appeals of final WSIB decisions are made to WSIAT. Final WSIB decisions are usually decisions made by an Appeals Resolution Officer (ARO). You must complete the WSIATNotice of Appeal(NOA) form and return it to WSIAT within 6 months of the date of the final decision from WSIB. You may also obtain the NOA form from WSIAT by calling 1-888-618-8846. You should include a copy of the decision you are appealing along with the NOA form. Send these documents to WSIAT by fax or registered mail to ensure you have proof of having met the time limit by way of receipt. Please remember to keep the fax confirmation slip or registered mail receipt for your own records.
What happens next?
WSIAT will send you a Readiness Form acknowledging receipt of your NOA form. By signing the Readiness Form, you are confirming that you are prepared to tell WSIAT everything they need to know to schedule your case for a hearing. Once WSIAT receives your Readiness Form, they will prepare the Case Record.
What is the case record?
The Case Record is the written evidence that WSIAT will review when hearing your appeal. The Case Record should contain all the relevant WSIB files. Once the Case Record is prepared, WSIAT will send it to you along with a Confirmation of Appeal (COA) form.
Your appeal will remain on a WSIAT Notice of Appeal List until such time as your completed Confirmation of Appeal (COA) form is received by WSIAT. A case can remain on the Notice of Appeal List for up to two years from the date you first contacted WSIAT, at which time WSIAT will decide whether to consider the appeal abandoned and close the file. After receiving the Case Record, carefully review the contents to make sure that all the necessary documents from your file(s) are included. Any missing or additional information should be sent to WSIAT along with the COA form. If you do not send this information along with the COA form, WSIAT may not accept it at a later date. If you obtain new information or evidence after completing the COA form, you must send it to WSIAT at least 3 weeks before the scheduled hearing date.
Completing the confirmation of appeal
When you complete the Confirmation of Appeal (COA) form, you need to advise WSIAT of the following:
- whether you want your hearing held in English or French,
- whether you need an interpreter at your hearing and the language of preference,
- whether you would rather have a hearing in writing. WSIAT will accept a written hearing if the matter is fairly simple and straightforward and you are not required to prove you are telling the truth. If, for example, your employer insists the accident did not happen the way you said, then you need to attend an oral hearing so that WSIAT can decide who to believe,
- whether you want to try alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Under this option, also known as mediation, WSIAT staff will attempt to resolve your appeal without the need for a full hearing. If you and your employer cannot come to an agreement at mediation, you will then proceed with a written or oral hearing,
- whether you have any other WSIB claims,
- whether you have any new evidence and, if so, include a copy of it,
- witnesses (other than you) that will testify on your behalf at your hearing and what each witness will say,
- whether you need a summons for any witness. A summons is an order from WSIAT demanding that a person appear and testify at your hearing. You only need a summons if the witness does not agree to come to the hearing and if the evidence the witness can give is necessary for the appeal.
Note: You must send the completed COA form and any additional evidence to both WSIAT and any other party. In most cases, the other party would be the employer(s) you worked for at the time of your injury. If the accident employer is participating in the hearing, they will need to complete a Response Form and identify any new evidence and/or witnesses.
What is the early review department?
The Early Review Department reviews all WSIAT appeals to ensure your case is ready for hearing, and decides whether WSIAT should: hold an oral hearing, try mediation, or proceed with written submissions. If the Early Review Department determines your case is not ready to proceed, they will contact you, usually by letter, advising you how to prepare for the hearing. If your case is ready for an oral hearing, someone from the WSIAT Scheduling Department will call you to set a date. For information on oral hearings, see Hearing Tips. For guidelines on written and oral submissions, see Submissions.
This publication contains general information only. It is not legal advice about a particular situation and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified representative. This publication was last updated on the revision date listed below.
August 7, 2011