Appeal deadline missed

An unrepresented 42 year old worker employed by a steel company sustained bilateral shoulder injuries in 2000. The claim was established for the right shoulder injury at the time. He received a non-economic loss award and loss of earning benefits.

The worker contacted the Commission in October 2012 about missing the deadline to appeal the WSIB’s decision to deny entitlement for a left shoulder condition. He complained that he had not received the WSIB’s August 25, 2005 decision letter. He told the Commission that the letter had been sent to the wrong address. The injured worker had attempted several times to request entitlement for his left shoulder after providing updated medical information. The worker subsequently received an Appeals Resolution Officer decision in 2010 which noted the left shoulder entitlement could not be considered due to the missed deadline.

A review of the claim file revealed that the worker had faxed a short handwritten objection letter on February 2, 2006. There was also a memo from the case manager dated March 1, 2006 noting that, due to an oversight, the request for access and the request to appeal were missed.

Although a considerable amount of time had passed since these events, the Commission notified the manager of the worker’s issues. The manager reviewed the worker’s claim file and found that the WSIB’s adverse decision letter was sent to the injured worker when access was provided in March 2006. She also found the worker’s handwritten objection letter. The manager noted that the workeronly missed the appeal deadline by two days. In keeping with the practice of the WSIB in 2006, the manager determined that the worker met the timeline for the appeal and requested that the case manager send the injured worker an objection form.

The injured worker submitted the objection form and the appeal was assigned to an ARO.