Thursday, February 18, 2010

Time Limits

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act requires that all cases be dealt with within specific time limits. It is extremely important that workers meet the time limit restrictions. If a time limit is not met than a worker may lose the right to challenge an unfavourable decision or even collect benefits.

Filing a Claim

If you are injured at work you must file a claim with the Board within since months of the injury. While you may not think that the accident is significant at the time o injury, a problem could develop in several months or years. If you do not file a claim with the Board you may lose rights to future benefits. A claim should be filed using a Form 6. These are readily available from your employer or the Board.

Labour Market Re-entry Plans

If you disagree with the labour market re-entry plan proposed by the Board you have 30 days to appeal. If you believe that the program or proposed job is or may be too physically demanding or the wage level does not approximate your preinjury earnings, you must appeal the Board’s decision in writing within 30 days of the date of the Board’s decision letter. This time limit is strictly adhered to and some Appeals Resolution Officers will not let you argue the goal was not suitable unless it was properly appealed at the outset.

Other Decisions

All other decisions made by the Board must be appealed within 6 months. This includes decisions concerning but not limited to:

• initial entitlement

• recurrences

• loss of earnings benefits (formerly Future Economic Loss benefits)

• earnings basis

• non cooperation

You’ll be advised of the Board’s decision in a letter, which will also state the time limit and procedures or appealing the decision. If you wish to appeal you must do so in writing within 6 months of the date of the letter.

An appeal from an appeals resolution officer’s decision is also subject to a 6 month limitation period. The appeals resolution officer’s decision is the final decision of the Board and can be appealed to the Tribunal.

What if I’m not ready to proceed immediately with an appeal?

First, upon receipt of the Board’s decision, you need to decide if you in agreement with the outcome. If you disagree with the Board or may disagree in the future, (such as the LMR goal) you must notify the Board in writing that you wish to appeal within the specified time limits.

If this is done within the required time limit, you will receive a letter stating that you met the statutory requirement. Shortly afterward you will receive a copy of your file and an objection form. When you receive the objection form send a letter that you wish to continue with the appeal but are waiting for additional information. Once the notice is filed there are no further time limits. The notice of your intention to appeal preserves your right to continue with the appeal any time in the future.

At this time you should also consider hiring a professional who can assist you with your appeal. The law is governed by the Workplace Safety Insurance Act, caselaw and the Board policy.

What if I miss a limitation period?

The Board has the authority to extend the time limit in exceptional circumstances. Such circumstances include serious illness or death in the family. It is difficult to obtain an extension and therefore important to seek professional advice to ensure that you meet the criteria and you best case is put forward.

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