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

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 usually must appear in person at the hearing and present the appeal to the panel verbally. In certain situations, the Appeal Commission may allow a party to participate via videoconference or teleconference. The appeal can be supported by a written submission. Witnesses may attend in support of the appeal. The Appeal Commission must be advised if witnesses will be attending. 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