Preparing for the Hearing
How to Prepare for a Hearing
- If you have a representative, discuss the case with them.
- Review the entire file and understand your case. When you receive the Case Record and Addenda, review them carefully before you file the Confirmation of Appeal form or your final written submissions. Make sure that all the information you want considered is in this case material. This will also give you time to consider if additional medical evidence or witness testimony will be helpful to your case.
- File additional evidence promptly. If you have additional evidence you wish to submit, including medical evidence, submit it with your Confirmation of Appeal form or with your final written submissions. If you need to obtain additional evidence (such as medical reports) after the Confirmation of Appeal form has been filed, do so promptly and provide it as soon as it is available (but no later than three weeks before the hearing). For a hearing in writing, please submit any new evidence with your final written submissions.
- Advise the WSIAT of any witnesses. There may be witnesses who can testify, and you must tell the WSIAT and the other party, if any, about these witnesses when you file the COA. If there are any changes to the witnesses after the Confirmation of Appeal form has been filed, notify the WSIAT and other parties promptly (but no later than three weeks before the hearing).
- Review the WSIAT’s legal and medical resources.
- Review past WSIAT decisions that deal with similar issues as your appeal. You may submit copies of relevant decisions for consideration.
- Review the Hearing Ready Letter carefully. This letter lists the issues on appeal, the witnesses, and other important information for the hearing. The hearing will deal only with the issues listed in this letter. If you believe that any information is incorrect or missing from this letter, please Contact Us immediately.
- Prepare your witness. Make sure they know the time and place of the hearing. Your witnesses should know, in general terms, what they will be asked at the hearing. Caution your witnesses that they cannot ask for help answering questions.
- Prepare notes for the hearing regarding your opening statement, questions for witnesses, and closing statement.
- Bring all the materials sent to you by the WSIAT to the hearing.
Confirmation of Appeal (Oral Hearings)
- To move forward with an oral appeal, you must file a Confirmation of Appeal (COA) form within 24 months of filing your Notice of Appeal. Please use this form to advise the WSIAT of any witnesses you wish to call and/or if you need an interpreter for the hearing. Please provide additional evidence to the WSIAT when you file your COA.
- If the COA is not filed in time, the appeal may be closed. See Practice Direction: Closing Appeals by the Tribunal.
- After the WSIAT receives your completed COA, WSIAT staff will review your appeal to determine if it is ready for a hearing.
Respondent’s Confirmation of Appeal (Oral Hearings)
The respondent is expected to file the Respondent’s Confirmation of Appeal (RCOA) form within two weeks of receiving the appellant’s Confirmation of Appeal (COA) form. You should use this form to advise the WSIAT of any witnesses you wish to call and/or if you need an interpreter for the hearing. Please provide additional evidence to the WSIAT when you file your RCOA.
Evidence and Witnesses:
Medical Information Requested by the Tribunal
WSIAT staff will review your case materials prior to the hearing. If relevant medical information is missing, they will ask you to obtain it. For the process for obtaining medical information requested by the WSIAT, please see the Practice Direction: Medical Information Requested By the Tribunal.
It is rare for experts, such as doctors or scientists, to testify at a WSIAT hearing. If you wish to provide expert evidence for your hearing, you must ask the expert to prepare a written report. For more information on expert evidence, how the WSIAT hears expert evidence, who qualifies as an expert before the WSIAT and the requirements of an expert report, please see the Practice Direction: Expert Evidence.
If there is surveillance evidence (visual or audio recordings) in the case materials for your appeal, or that you would like to provide as evidence, please see the Practice Direction: Surveillance Evidence.
Transcripts of WSIB Hearings
The WSIAT does not accept audio recordings of previous hearings at the WSIB but may admit a portion of the transcript if a witness is no longer available to testify at the WSIAT hearing or if different testimony is expected. For information on how to obtain a transcript and request that it be considered, please read the Practice Direction: Transcripts of Board Hearings.
Disclosure, Witnesses and the Three-Week Rule
You must provide all your evidence to the WSIAT and advise us of any witnesses you want to call to testify on your Confirmation of Appeal form, or if it is not available at that time, at least three weeks before the date of your hearing. For information on disclosure of evidence, notice of witnesses, and the deadlines and exceptions, please see the Practice Direction: Disclosure, Witnesses and the Three-Week Rule.
Summonses and Production of Documents
If you have difficulties getting a witness to agree to attend your hearing or obtaining a necessary document, you may wish to request a summons. For information on this, please see the Practice Direction: Summonses and Production of Documents.
Hearings in Writing
Depending on the issues under appeal, the WSIAT may decide to hear your appeal in writing, without an oral hearing. In a written appeal, a WSIAT Panel or Vice-Chair makes their decision by reviewing the case materials and the written submissions from the participating parties. For information about this process, including which appeals can be decided by a hearing in writing and tips on preparing your written submissions, please see the Practice Direction: Written Appeals or Contact Us.
Hearing Ready Letter
WSIAT staff review appeals and applications to confirm the issues to be decided. They also ensure the case material contains the information needed, and that the appeal is ready for the hearing. If they need additional information or if your appeal is not ready for a hearing, WSIAT staff will contact you.
If your appeal is ready for a hearing, the WSIAT will call you or your representative to discuss the hearing and answer any questions. The WSIAT will then send you a Hearing Ready Letter identifying the issues that will be considered at the hearing and any witnesses that will testify. Review the Hearing Ready Letter carefully. The hearing will deal only with the issues listed in this letter. If you believe that any information in this letter is not correct, please Contact Us immediately.
For more information, please see the Practice Direction: Confirmation of Appeal and the Hearing Ready Letter.
The WSIAT places files into inactive status when an appeal or application is not ready to proceed. This may be because the parties need to obtain evidence, seek a representative or pursue other related issues at the WSIB. If you would like to place your appeal into inactive status, please Contact Us.