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Established in 1985, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) is the final level of appeal to which workers and employers may bring disputes concerning workplace safety and insurance matters in Ontario. WSIAT has always been separate from and independent of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

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  Decision 1780 14
10/21/2014
S. Martel

  • Tinnitus
  • Hearing (oral)
  • Permanent impairment {NEL} (degree of impairment) (hearing loss)
  • Parties (representation) (paralegal) (exceptions) (relative, friend or neighbour)

The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer granting the worker a 1% NEL award for hearing loss. In a preliminary matter, the Vice-Chair considered the status of the worker's representative. The representative was not a licensed lawyer or paralegal. He was not in the business of providing legal services. He was not charging a fee and did not expect any compensation. He had not provided legal services on more than three matters this year, including those that did not involve the Tribunal. The Vice-Chair accepted the representative on the basis that he fulfilled the criteria for exemption as a friend. The Vice-Chair denied the worker's request for an oral hearing. This appeal involved a discrete issue regarding quantum of a NEL award for hearing loss. Such an appeal did not involve complicated issues and the law was fairly well settled. There was no submission that the medical evidence was incomplete. There was no issue of credibility. The level of impairment could be determined from the medical information. The case met the criteria in the Tribunal's practice direction on Written Appeals for a written appeal. On the evidence, the Vice-Chair confirmed the 1% NEL award for hearing loss. However, the Vice-Chair found that the worker was also entitled to a 2% NEL rating for tinnitus. The appeal was allowed in part.