Appeal Methods

You may request either an oral hearing or a file review. However, the Chief Appeal Commissioner, or the panel addressing your appeal, have the final authority to determine the most appropriate method for the appeal.

Definition: Oral Hearing (Videoconference, Teleconference, In Office)

Oral hearings are the most common appeal forum. If the appeal is more complex, it will probably be decided by an oral hearing. The party requesting the hearing presents the appeal to the appeal panel verbally. This can happen by teleconference, videoconference or in-office. The appeal can be supported by a written submission. Witnesses may attend in support of the appeal. If you are bringing a witness to the hearing, you must complete and submit a Witness List. Some examples of appeals decided by an oral hearing are:

  • where additional evidence is to be presented
  • where there is a fatality
  • where serious injury has occurred
  • where an occupational disease is involved
  • where the decision may have an important impact on how WCB policy is interpreted or applied
  • where the facts are in dispute

Definition: File Review

An appeal can be decided by a file review if all the issues are easy to understand from the file documents. The panel reaches a decision after it conducts a full review of the file documentation and any written evidence submitted by the parties with a direct interest. If an appeal is decided by a file review, parties do not have to appear in person before the appeal panel. Some examples of appeals commonly decided by file review include:

  • most assessment appeals
  • factual matters such as the level of average earnings
  • applications for an increase in permanent partial impairment where no wage loss is involved
  • payment of medical aid/travel expenses
  • appeals where the facts of the case are not in dispute