Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 3 14
05/11/2014
S. Darvish
  • Time limits (decision)
  • Procedure (Board) (decision) (content)

The worker suffered an accident on May 17, 2011. The Board issued a system-generated form letter on May 26, 2011, granting entitlement. The employer did not object to the granting of entitlement until September 5, 2012. The employer appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying an extension of the time to appeal.

The employer submitted that the system-generated form letter issued by the Board was inconsistent with Board Operational Policy Manual, Document No. 11-01-02, regarding decision-making, in particular the section of the policy on communication of decisions.
The policy provides that, in claims involving no loss of earnings, decision-makers use form letters to communicate their decisions. In claims involving loss of earnings, decision-makers have a choice of using form letters or writing decision letters. If a decision-maker writes a decision letter, the policy outlines what information should be contained in the decision letter. The policy does not provide any guidelines as to the content of a form letter. Presumably, this is because a form letter would already have certain standard language contained in it.
In this case, the worker was granted initial entitlement and the claim was allowed for LOE and health care benefits. Thus, the decision-maker had the option of using a form letter or writing a decision letter. The decision-maker chose to issue a form letter, as permitted by the policy. The form letter did not need to contain the information listed in the policy for decision letters. The Vice-Chair noted, however, that the sample form letter submitted by the employer did contain a notice of the six-month time limit for objection.
The delay in this case was about 16 months. There was no compelling or persuasive explanation for the delay. The Vice-Chair noted that the employer was in communication with the Board in the months following the Board decision to grant entitlement, but there was no indication in those communications that the employer objected to the decision to grant entitlement.
The employer was not entitled to an extension of the time to appeal. The appeal was dismissed.