Who Will Be Reimbursed For Expenses To Attend A Hearing?
The Tribunal pays injured workers and their witnesses, and survivors of deceased workers and their witnesses for certain expenses for their attendance at a hearing (section 133 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act).
Where the Tribunal directs a worker to be examined by a doctor who prepares a report for the Tribunal, the Tribunal pays certain expenses for the worker’s attendance at the medical examination.
The Tribunal does not pay expenses for employers or their witnesses as this is not provided for in the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.
The Tribunal may publish from time to time Schedules setting out the allowable amounts to be paid for fees and expenses under this Practice Direction.
What Expenses Will Be Paid By The Tribunal?
The Tribunal holds hearings in a number of cities throughout Ontario. Workers/survivors/and their witnesses who live outside the metropolitan area where the hearing takes place may claim allowable out-of-pocket expenses for their attendance at the hearing.
To obtain repayment of expenses, a party must complete and send to the Tribunal a Hearing Expense Claim, attaching all required receipts to the form.
Out-of-pocket expenses may only be claimed by workers/survivors/and their witnesses who live outside the metropolitan area where the hearing takes place.
Workers/survivors and their witnesses may submit a claim for the following expenses:
- meal allowances - up to a daily and per meal maximum. Refer to Hearing Expense Claim form.
- parking - with a receipt, up to a daily maximum. Without a receipt, a minimum flat rate will be repaid. Refer to Hearing Expense Claim form.
- travel – Train or inter-city bus fare is paid; a receipt must be submitted to claim this expense. If you drive a car, mileage is paid based on a set rate. Refer to Hearing Expense Claim form.
- witness fees – if the worker/survivor/and their witnesses has lost wages in order to attend on the hearing day or days, the Tribunal will pay for the lost wages on the hearing day(s) only, subject to a daily maximum. If a summons has been served, any money already sent with the summons will be deducted from the amount to be paid for lost wages. Except in extraordinary circumstances, payments for witnesses’ lost wages will be limited to the day or days on which they testify.
The Tribunal does not reimburse out-of-pocket expenses for workers/survivors/and their witnesses who live within the metropolitan area where the hearing takes place.
In some cases, the Tribunal will pay for reasonable costs for hotel accommodation for workers/survivors/and their witnesses. The Tribunal’s Scheduling Department may help workers/survivors/and their witnesses with arrangements for transportation and hotel accommodation. Requests must be made at least six weeks prior to the hearing date. The Tribunal will consider the following factors when it makes a decision about whether to pay these costs:
- whether the worker/survivor/their witness must travel more than 200 kilometers one way to attend the hearing
- the time the hearing starts; and
- weather conditions.
The Tribunal may pay for a portion of the travel expense for travel from outside Ontario. It will generally pay expenses for travel from Winnipeg in the west and Montreal in the east and Windsor in the south. For example, if a worker/survivor travels by air from British Columbia, the Tribunal would reimburse the worker/survivor for the cost of a return airline ticket from Winnipeg to the hearing location. The Tribunal does not pay for expenses for travel from an out of province residence to the closest border city.
Where the Tribunal has arranged for a doctor to examine a worker, the Tribunal will pay the worker’s expenses for travel to the medical appointment. Where a worker has lost wages to attend a medical appointment, the Tribunal will pay lost wages for the day of the Tribunal arranged appointment. The worker should send a request for this payment to the Medical Liaison Office. The Tribunal will apply the same rates as for hearing expenses.
A party who files an expert report pays for the report. A party who calls an expert as a witness pays the full fee of the expert. In exceptional circumstances, the Tribunal may pay the costs of an expert witness for a worker. (See Practice Direction: Expert Evidence).
When the Tribunal will Pay: Getting Approval
The Tribunal reimburses workers/survivors for expenses for attending a hearing only after it receives the completed Hearing Expense Form. Workers/survivors must support expense claims with receipts and information as required by the Tribunal.
In exceptional circumstances, the Tribunal may issue a travel advance to a worker/survivor prior to the hearing date. A worker/survivor may ask for a travel advance by sending a written request for the advance to the Tribunal’s Scheduling Department at least six weeks before the hearing date. After the hearing, the worker/survivor must submit a completed Hearing Expense Claim form with all required receipts and account for the advance provided by the Tribunal.
A worker/survivor may ask for assistance with travel, hotel accommodation, and payment of costs for travel from outside Ontario or advance payments by making a written request to the Tribunal’s Scheduling Department at least six weeks before the hearing date.
Who Decides What Expenses Will Be Paid By The Tribunal?
Tribunal staff will decide payment issues that are covered by this Practice Direction. Staff may request further information to assist with the decision making process. In exceptional cases, staff may request a Tribunal Vice-Chair or Panel to determine an issue related to expenses.