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FAQs


This page contains Frequently Asked Questions by injured workers
The information contained in this website and on this webpage is for
informaitonal purpsoes only,
for legal direction and advice
please consult either with a paralegal or a lawyer.

Can I appeal a decision of the WSIB, and if so where, and how?

If I am told by my doctor I can return to safe suitbale work, do I have to?

What do I do if the work my employer is offering is not safe or suitbale for me!

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Can I appeal a decision of the WSIB, and if so where, and how?

WSIB Decisions:
If the decision you are appealing is a WSIB initial decision, then you would appeal to the WSIB Appeals Branch. Note: that injured workers have time limits to file their "intent to appeal"! However, even if you have missed the time limit you can still appeal with a legitimate explanation as to why you filed the appeal passed the time limit.
Ask for a Reconsideration:
Also, before filing an appeal to the WSIB appeals branch, consider requesting the initial decision maker reconsider their decision. This can be done by yourself verbally, or in writing. You can also request the assistance of a representative. This is also very relevant when you have additional information, such as medical documentation. Also, it is always good if possible if the WSIB is denying your claim based on medical, to ask your doctor to see a specialist, if you have not done so already. Have the specialist prepare a report for the WSIB. A representative can help you with all of this and some are free to use. Representative information can be found on the ‘How to Survive the WSIB’ webpage.

Also, this is one way to extend the time to appeal by asking for a previous decision to be reconsidered. Then you are appealing the reconsideration decision and not the original decision which would have made you late in appealing.

WSIB appeals:
The WSIB appeals branch, is the next step in the appeal process.
The WSIB appeal decisions are the final decisions of the WSIB. Decisions of the WSIB are appealed to the Workplace Safety & Insurance Appeals Tribunal – WSIAT. This tribunal is, allegedly, independent of the WSIB.
Note: that injured workers have time limits to file their "intent to appeal"! However, even if you have missed the time limit, you can still appeal with a legitimate explanation, as to why you filed the appeal passed the time limit to the WSIAT.
Again, ask for a reconsideration: Also, before filing an appeal to the WSIAT, consider requesting the WSIB appeals branch reconsider their decision. This can be done by yourself verbally, or in writing. You can also request the assistance of a representative. This is also very relevant when you have additional information, such as medical documentation. Also, it is always good if possible if the WSIB appeals branch is denying your claim based on medical, to ask your doctor to see a specialist, if you have not done so already. Have the specialist prepare a report for the WSIB. A representative can help you with all of this and some are free to use. Representative information can be found on the ‘How to Survive the WSIB’ webpage.
Also, this is one way to extend the time to appeal by asking for a previous decision to be reconsidered. Then you are appealing the reconsideration decision and not the original decision which would have made you late in appealing.

Appealing a WSIAT Decision:
Generally, the only option open to injured workers after the WSIAT has made their final decision is to request a decision be reconsidered. Note the WSIAT imposes time limits for reconsideration decisions. These can be waived for legitimate reasons. It is best to consult with a representative to assist you with any reconsideration requests. A representative can help you with all of this and some are free to use. Representative information can be found on the ‘How to Survive the WSIB’ webpage.

While once a final reconsideration decision has been made of the WSIAT there is generally little you can do aside from asking for another reconsideration decision. There are some court options, but they are extremely difficult to prove. You will either must hire an expensive lawyer or represent yourself in complex legal proceedings. Paralegals representatives cannot handle matter sin the higher courts.

Your first option is that if you believe the WSIAT made an ‘Error of law” then you can request the Divisional Court (in Brampton) review the WSIAT’s decision based on an ‘error of law’. Know this term it is extremely important when making appeals!

Your second option is even much harder than the first. This is to file a civil lawsuit against the WSIB, their staff, the WSIAT and/or their staff. Your grounds would be the Tort of Public Misfeasance, which part of the tort (law) is to establish that the decision makers acted in bad faith and as a result you suffered some form of harm, which is the second part of the tort. Again, I reiterate this is extremely difficult and costly to do, as the courts do not want injured workers bringing their matters to them. The courts feel it is beneath them, even though the courts are constitutionally empowered and obligated to protect your rights as a citizen of Canadian.

Appealing Judicial Review Decisions:
If you appealed or more accurately ‘requested judicial review’ of the WSIAT decision and your request for judicial review was denied. You can then attempt to appeal to the Court of Appeal of Ontario, but you may first have to ask permission of the Court of Appeal permission top appeal. There are set procedures for this, before you can appeal, if allowed by the Court of Appeal. Again, know that the legal process is complex and can be costly.

Appealing Civil Court Actions:
If you have a decision from the civil court, which is the Ontario Superior Court of Justice and your claim is over $75,000, then you can appeal direct without leave (permission) of the Court of Appeal.

Appealing Ontario Court of Appeal Decisions:
In Canada provincial court of appeal decisions are appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada-SCC. Know there is no right to appeal to the SCC. A request first must be made to the SCC. In a year the SCC receives well over 600 requests and only accepts less than 60.

Appeal the Supreme Court of Canada Decisions:
Unfortunately, the SCC is the highest court in Canada, and their decision is finally whether for leave (permission) to appeal, or the actual appeal. However, an individual could attempt to appeal to the Parliament to set aside the SCC decision. This is something allowed in the constitution. However, Parliament has never involved this clause of the Constitution since the enactment of the Constitution amendments in 1982. Alternatively, an individual could appeal to the international community either through the international courts or the International Labour Organization. The likelihood of any reversal of decision is slim, but the purpose would be to embarrass the Canadian and provincial governments about workers compensation.
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If I am told by my doctor I can return to safe suitbale work, do I have to?

This depends on if your employer has safe suitable work for you. Return to work is a very contentious subject as for the most part, people who have no clue of the work involved are claiming it is suitable.
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What do I do if the work my employer is offering is not safe or suitbale for me!

If you are a member of a union, contact your union representative ASAP, as they will take over from there. I would strongly suggest that you not refuse or accept any work, that may cause harm to yoruself. Make it very clear that you are of the strong opinion that the work may cause you harm and is pressently unsafe.
First, document your concerns in writing to your employer and make sure you have a copy for future reference. If it was all verbal (over the phone or in perosn), no problem send a letter to the employer confirming the conversation. This is a legal trick to turn a verbal contract into a written one.
Second, report your concerns to the WSIB. Again preferrably do it in writitng, but if it must be verbally again follow up with a letter.
If your employer and the WSIB is of the opinion the work is safe and suitbale. This may happen more than you will ever realize. Contact your doctor and request guidance as to the suitability. Remmeber do not blindly do what the doctor says, as a doctor does not do your work, you do, only you know the safety aspects of your job.

If your employer and the WSIB are adament on forcing you to perform unsafe and unsuitable work, then inform them you will be filing a complaint with the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal on the grounds both the WSIB and the employer failed to accomodate your disability, in accordance with the Onatrio Human Rights Code and the Ontarians with Disabilties Act. This may hopefully convince the employer to back down and properly accomodate you. Always remember that the best fight, is the fight that is not fought! If, not, then contact the Human Rights Tribunal & the Human Rights Legal Support Centre and file a formal complaint against the WSIB and the employer.
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I am still working on this page if you would like to submit questiosn to be added here please e-mail me at paul@iwwdc.ca!