Appeal timeline extended

A worker’s representative was trying to appeal a suitable occupation (SO) decision and the accompanying work transition (WT) plan. The WSIB case manager said the representative objected only in September 2014 and had missed the July 2014 deadline.

In June 2016, the representative asked for a reconsideration of the WSIB’s determination that the representative’s objection was too late to be considered. In October, he escalated his request to a manager. In January 2017, he had still not received a response, so he contacted the Commission.

The Commission’s file review showed that the representative had in fact objected to the SO and WT decision in May 2014, the month before the WSIB’s written decision went out to the worker. The WSIB did not send a copy of the decision letter to the representative.

The Commission found notes on file from 2014 indicating that the WSIB reviewed the SO and WT plan with the worker and that the worker agreed to the recommended training. After that, the case manager called the representative to confirm whether he still wished to object. The following day, the representative wrote to confirm his objection. He also noted that workers may cooperate with the WSIB to guard against losing benefits even though they object to the plan.

Soon after the Commission contacted a manager, the WSIB wrote to the worker representative. The letter acknowledged that because the WSIB didn’t send a copy of the June 2014 letter to the representative, it didn’t notify him of the appeal deadline. Further, the letter stated that the WSIB had clearly documented the representative’s objections in May 2014.

The WSIB apologized for the delay and allowed the appeal to proceed.