Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1600 21
B. Pollock
  • Notice of accident (by worker) (disablement)

The worker appealed an ARO decision denying an extension of time to file a claim in respect of a gradual onset disablement for his hands/wrists.

The appeal was allowed.
The Vice-Chair found that the worker first reported his injuries in a Form 6 in January 2019. The Form 6 related to an amputation injury suffered in December 2018 but it also mentioned the gradual onset disablement injury.
The Vice-Chair found there were exceptional circumstances as defined in OPM Document No. 15-01-03 warranting an extension of time to file the claim as the worker was a refugee from another country who arrived in Canada in late 2016 and spoke limited English and could not read or write in English. The worker came from a country where there was no workers' compensation system and the worker testified he had no knowledge of the Ontario workers' compensation system prior to the amputation injury he suffered in December 2018. The worker was also not represented in January 2019.
The Vice-Chair found the delay would not likely affect the Board's ability to adjudicate the claim, and as the employer did not participate the employer is not likely to have been prejudiced from the delay in filing the claim. Taking a holistic view of the factors, the Vice-Chair found there are exceptional circumstances that weigh in favour of extending the time for filing a claim.