Paul's Paralegal

80 Palmer Rd.
Hamilton, Ontario L8T 3E9
Tel:(905) 581-3602
Fax: (226) 216-0126

Workers Compensation Matters - WSIB/WSIAT

I am an injured worker and I have gone through the ringer, with Ontario’s workers compensation system. So, unlike most representatives, I know and understand, first-hand, what it is like to be an injured worker!

As a representative and Licensed Paralegal by the Law Society of Ontario, I fully endorse

the Ontario Network of Injured Worker Groups – ONIWG campaign

I have done this not to gain favour with injured workers, but as I mentioned I too am an injured worker and know first-hand the injustice that occurs within the workers compensation system. I also know that we are often intentionally misled about our rights of redress for our work injuries. I also know that the workers compensation system has wrongly transitioned from a system that was a right of compensation to workers when they are injured to a system that considers compensation as a privilege. I believe as a member of the bar and an officer of the court that everyone regardless of who or what you are deserves equal access to justice!

To learn more about ONIWG's #WorkersCompIsARight campaign, go to the website dedicated to it:

In Ontario, the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board – WSIB is the government agency, which administers the insurance fund. The insurance fund sole source of revenue is from employer premiums.
It is NOT funded by taxpayers!

On this page I first explain the decision making and appeal process,
all the way up to the Supreme Court of Canada.
I then provide you with some hopefully helpful tips.
I also provide you a link to my FAQ page with even more information.
Finally, I provide refer you to the Helpful Links page, which has links to other helpful websites for injured workers and if you decide to represent yourself helpful links to represent yourself.

Initial WSIB Decisions

Initial WSIB Reconsideration Decisions

WSIB Appeal Decisions

WSIB Appeal Reconsideration Decisions

Application for Judicial Review

Appeal to the Court of Appeal for Ontario

Appeal to Supreme Court of Canada

Tips for Injured Workers dealing with the Workers Compensation System

I have also created a frequently asked questions page with questions and answers on many different subjects.
This is to hopefully help people through any legal process by understanding things a bit better.

Click here to see the FAQ page

WSIB Appeal Decisions

Once an initial decision has been made by the WSIB, an injured worker can either ask for reconsideration or appeal the decision to the WSIB Appeals Service Branch. The WSIB Appeals Service Branch will then schedule and hold an appeal hearing. After the hearing, the WSIB Appeals Service Branch will issue their decision in writing. Appeal hearings are heard either orally or in writing. However, they are rarely heard orally.

It is important to note that the law imposes a time limit to file an appeal of 30 days for decisions relating to return to work and/or retraining and imposes a time limit of six months for all other decisions. In either case, the WSIB can waive the time limit, if circumstances warrant it. To meet time limit requirements, it is always advisable that injured workers always notify the WSIB of intent to object to any and every decision made, within 30 days of the initial decision.

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WSIB Appeal Reconsideration Decisions

Once a WSIB appeals decision has been made by the WSIB appeals branch, an injured worker can ask the appeals decision maker to reconsider their decision. This is especially the case when additional information and/or evidence has been submitted to the WSIB after the appeals decision has been made. This is always advisable to do as it is much quicker than proceeding direct to the next step, which is appealing to the WSIAT. The law allows the WSIB to reconsider any decision it makes and at any anytime.

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WSIAT Appeal Reconsideration Decisionss

Just like the WSIB, the law provides that the WSIAT can reconsider any decision it makes at any time. However, the WSIAT has overridden the law and imposed a six-month time limit on decisions. This has not been challenged as yet but be advised any request for reconsideration after six months may be met with considerable resistance by the WSIAT.

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Application for Judicial Review

After the WSIAT issues its decision and/or reconsideration decision, an injured worker can file an application for judicial review with the courts. An application for judicial review is the process where the superior courts in Canada have the Constitutional authority to hold the government and/or government officer accountable for their actions and/or inactions.

While the law states decisions of the WSIAT cannot be judicially review, this is intentionally misleading. This is because it has been long recognized by the Supreme Court of Canada that the court’s jurisdiction is Constitutional and cannot be ousted by a Provincial/Territorial Legislature.

A Government agency and/or officer can be held accountable by the courts in several ways:
  • An application for judicial review – injunction/prohibition, to stop a government action
  • An application for judicial review – mandamus, to compel a government to act
  • An application for judicial review – certiorari, to review a government decision

  • Applications for judicial review are normally brought before any Ontario Superior Court of Justice - Divisional Court. However, urgent applications for judicial review can be brought before any Ontario Superior Court of Justice on any day motions are heard. Applications for judicial review that are brought before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice - Divisional Court are heard before a panel of three judges. Urgent applications for judicial review brought before the Ontario Superior Court of Justice are heard before a single sitting judge.
    In order to have a decision of the WSIAT judicially reviewed, you will have to:
  • First establish the standard of review, whether it is correctness or reasonableness.
  • Second establish that the WSIAT decision failed to meet the standard of review, whether reasonableness or correctness.
  • Third establish that the WSIAT can or cannot review the decision again if the court were to review the decision back to the WSIAT and provide a justified reason why.

  • A party MUST file their application for judicial review with the court within 30 days for WSIA decisions and reconsideration decisions made on or after July 8, 2020, and six months for WSIAT decisions made prior to July 8, 2020.

    Unlike at the WSIB and the WSIAT, if you lose in court you can and likely will be ordered to pay court costs to the opposing party.

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    Appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada

    If the decision rendered by the Court of Appeal for Ontario, is wrong, you could appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada.

    You must first ask permission of the Supreme Court of Canada to appeal the decision. This again is referred to as seeking leave. It is not an easy process and can be very difficult. The Supreme Court of Canada sets its own agenda, which means it may choose not to hear you appeal even if you have a case. The Supreme Court of Canada is only interested in hearing appeals that are of public importance. On average the Supreme Court hears less than 8% of all appeals sent to them.
    If granted leave, you can then appeal the decision to the Supreme Court of Canada. You will then have to prove the decision was wrong and often the standard of being wrong is much higher for courts. It is not just wrong but seriously wrong or like that of judicial review unreasonable. You should be aware that this can be a very costly legal process, especially if you lose. That is unless you represent yourself, but know it is not easy to do.

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    Tips for Injured Workers dealing with
    the Workers Compensation System

    Communication with Your Employer
    Often communicating with your employer is done verbally and some employers reverse what was said or even agreed. This is why it is ALWAYS important to document everything said and done by your employer. In the past, most communicate was done in-person and verbally. Now thanks to e-mail, employers communicate directly with their employees. This way you have a record of what was said, asked and/or agreed to. Even today, many employers will communicate verbally. They do this so there is no record of the communication and they can deny anything that was said. This is why you follow up a verbal conversation with an e-mail. In the e-mail, you would say something like I just wanted to clarify what was discussed today January 1, 1900, at 10am which was…. This way if the employer does not dispute the e-mail what was stated in the email is what was stated verbally.

    Often workers use company e-mail addresses and cellphones. This is fine but any communicate that may impact your employment like this you should always forward to a non-company e-mail account. This way if your employer deletes the e-mail or lock you out of your e-mail account you have a back-up of everything that was communicated.
    Also do this for any saved voice mails for them to your private phone or back them up.

    Communicating with WSIB/WSIAT and/or your representative

    NEVER communicate with the WSIB, the WSIAT and/or your representative by any company e-mail and/or phone!
    This is because your employer can monitor your communication. Your employer believes the e-mail and/or phone is their property, and they have a right to monitor any communication. Additionally, your employer can delete e-mails or worse yet lock you out of your e-mail and/or company phone.
    So, always try to communicate with the WSIB and/or the WSIAT using a personal private e-mail account. If you have used company e-mail, you can always forward the e-mails to your private e-mail account as a back-up.
    NEVER communicate to your representative, where a lawyer or paralegal using your company e-mail accounts.

    Examination by WSIB Doctors:

    Often workers can be sent to a WSIB paid doctor, for an assessment. In most cases the doctor acts professionally and responsibility. However, on the rare occasion the doctor may not perform the exam correctly or may say or do something that will display biased or a conflict of interest. In these cases, it is very hard to prove when it is just your word against theirs. This is why I always suggest to injured workers they bring a friend or family member along to witness the examination and the interactions between you and the examining doctor. I even suggest if possible that the friend or family member video record the examination. If the doctor raises privacy concern, make clear you waive your right to privacy and allow the exam to be recorded.

    Healthcare Benefits

    The WSIB is to pay for any required healthcare. This includes prescription and non-prescription medications. This also includes medical cannabis. To have coverage for prescription medications simply provide your WSIB claim number to the pharmacist and have them charge the WSIB. The WSIB always pays for the cheapest medication commonly referred to as the generic brand. While the generic brand prescriptions maybe ok for some but for others they can cause serious, even life-threatening reactions. Sadly, these reactions the WSIB could carless about. This is why you must be very vigilant when using prescription medications. Any reactions you must document them with your doctor right away. Have your doctor report it to the WSIB. Also notify your representative. If you are taking generic prescription medications discuss this with your doctor and ask for brand name to see if the reaction stops.

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    Information contained within this site is NOT legal advice!
    You should always consult with a paralegal or lawyer. Even if you use this site or consult with me, this in no way consitutes a retainer, whether for bundled or unbundled services, and no paralegal-client relationship exists unless and
    until you receive written confirmation in the form of a signed retainer agreement.
    You accept any risks with the use of e-mail or other electronic communications
    If you have any questions or concerns reagrding this disclamer, please fell free to conact me at: