What Happens at the Hearing?
You will be invited to provide an opening statement. An opening statement is a short overview or summary of your case and an explanation of why you are appealing the decision(s) and what outcome you are hoping to receive. If another party is participating, they will also have an opportunity to provide an opening statement. After that, you will be invited to provide your testimony under oath. You are expected to answer questions about your case from any other participating party and the Vice-Chair or Panel. The other party will also have an opportunity to provide their testimony. Any witnesses who appear are also required to answer questions from the parties and the Vice-Chair or Panel. At the end of the hearing, both sides are given the opportunity to provide closing submissions. Closing submissions should summarize the main points you have made.
It is important to note that the Vice-Chair or Panel may alter the order in which things happen at the hearing.
What Should I Bring to the Hearing?
You should bring any materials that were forwarded to you by the WSIAT, especially the Hearing Ready Letter, Case Record, and any Addenda. If you are unsure if you have all of the case materials, please Contact Us.
Who May Attend the Hearing?
The WSIAT expects these parties to attend the hearing:
- The party appealing (“appellant”)
- The representative of the appellant, if any
- Any responding parties (“respondent(s)”)
- The representative(s) of the participating respondent(s), if any
Failure to Attend the Hearing
The WSIAT expects you to attend the hearing. If you do not attend a scheduled hearing, there may be consequences, which could include proceeding with the hearing without you, or deeming your appeal withdrawn. For more information on the consequences for not attending the hearing, please read the Practice Direction: Notice of Hearing and Failure to Attend or Contact Us.
Our hearings are held in French or English, or a combination of both. When a party or witness does not speak or understand French or English, the WSIAT will provide an interpreter. You cannot bring your own interpreter to a hearing. If you or your witnesses require an interpreter, you should notify the WSIAT on the Confirmation of Appeal form or in a letter at least six weeks before the hearing. For information on who can interpret, how to request an interpreter, and our expectations of interpreters, please read the Practice Direction: Interpreters or Contact Us.
Who Will Hear the Appeal?
The WSIAT Chair usually assigns hearings to a single Vice-Chair. In certain circumstances, the WSIAT Chair may consider it appropriate to assign a Panel to hear an appeal or application.
The WSIAT Chair may also hear cases alone or as part of a Panel.
Adjournments and Withdrawals
An adjournment means that the hearing cannot proceed or be completed on its scheduled day. It will be rescheduled for another day. For information on the WSIAT’s strict policy on adjournments and how to request the adjournment of a hearing, please read the Practice Direction: Adjournments and Withdrawals or Contact Us.
A withdrawn appeal means that the appellant does not want to continue with their appeal. The WSIAT will close the appeal without a WSIAT decision on the merits. The final WSIB decision stands if the appeal is withdrawn. If you choose to withdraw your appeal, the appeal cannot easily be brought back. For more information on how to request a withdrawal of your appeal and the consequences of withdrawing the appeal, please read the Practice Direction: Adjournments and Withdrawals or Contact Us.