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Tribunal - General

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The Pre-hearing Appeal Process

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Technical Practice Directions

Practice Direction:
Written Appeals

# Download a copy in pdf format.*

1.0 This Practice Direction:

2.0 What is a Written Appeal?

2.1 To ensure that hearing time is used efficiently, the Tribunal has adopted various pre-hearing procedures, including deciding a small group of appeals as written appeals.

2.2 In a written appeal, a Tribunal Panel or Vice-Chair decides the appeal by reviewing the case materials including written submissions from the parties.

3.0 Selecting Appeals for Written Hearings

3.1 Tribunal staff identify appeals that are appropriately handled as written appeals as early as possible, usually after the Tribunal receives the Notice of Appeal form and a copy of the decision being appealed. This helps to avoid confusion about the steps that the worker or employer must complete to have their appeal decided.

3.2 Where pre-hearing staff identifies an appeal that can be handled as a written appeal, the Tribunal writes to the worker and employer (if they are both participating) to:

3.3 An appeal may be selected to be decided as a written appeal when:

Generally, the law, policy and medical issues in written appeals are not as complicated as those in appeals selected for an oral hearing.

3.4 Some issues that are often found to be suitable for a written hearing process include:

4.0 First Phase of a Written Appeal

4.1 After determining that an appeal is suitable for the written process, the Tribunal orders the WSIB file.

4.2 The Tribunal then writes to the appellant to:

4.3 The Tribunal then contacts the respondent to

4.4 When the Tribunal receives the WSIB claim file, staff review the appeal information in more detail to confirm that the appeal continues to meet the criteria for a written appeal process. If the review indicates that an oral hearing is required, the Tribunal sends a letter to the participating parties explaining that the appeal must be prepared for an oral hearing.

5.0 Final Phase of a Written Appeal

5.1 Two-Party Appeals

Where both the appellant and the respondent are participating in the appeal, the following steps take place in the final phase of a written appeal:

5.2 One-Party Appeals

Where only the appellant is participating in the appeal, the final phase of a one-party written appeal is the same as for a two party appeal as described above except:

5.3 If the worker or employer needs more than a month to prepare the written submissions, s/he may write to request additional time. Such requests should identify how much additional time is required and the reasons.

6.0 Objections to a Written Hearing

6.1 If parties disagree that the case meets the criteria for the written process (outlined in 3.3), they must write to explain the reasons they believe that an oral hearing is required for the appeal.

6.2 Tribunal staff will review the objection and if the reason(s) given confirms that the appeal does not meet the criteria for written hearing (for example, if the medical documents are in dispute), the Tribunal will process the appeal to be scheduled as an oral hearing.

6.3 In all other cases, the Tribunal continues to process the appeal as a written case, and requests that the party objecting provide written submissions in support of the appeal, as in the ordinary case. These submissions may include further submissions describing why the appeal should be determined by an oral hearing. When the appeal comes before the Vice-Chair to be considered, the Vice-Chair assigned to the appeal considers the request for an oral hearing before considering the merits of the appeal.

6.4 Where the Vice-Chair agrees that an oral hearing is required, the Vice-Chair directs Tribunal staff to prepare the appeal for an oral hearing.

6.5 Where the Vice-Chair does not agree an oral hearing is required, s/he decides the appeal based on the case materials. For this reason, the arguments submitted by a party should be complete.

7.0 Written Submissions

Written submissions should:

 

Effective date: July 1, 2014
Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal

 

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