The Board Appeal Tribunal (the tribunal) is the last and final level of appeal at the WCB. The Board Appeal Tribunal is comprised of two or more members of the board. The tribunal is bound only by The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the Act) and has full discretionary authority in all matters delegated to it under the Act.
Much like the appeals department, it may rescind, alter or amend any prior decision made on a claim file based on the real merits and justice of each particular case.
The Board Appeal Tribunal follows the inquiry model when considering appeals. In this model, the tribunal members ensure they have all the necessary information to make the best decision possible. In addition to the material in the WCB files and provided by the parties in the appeal, the tribunal may request additional information. The tribunal makes decisions on the merits of each case in order to be fair and reasonable to all parties.
Burden of proof
There is no burden of proof on an appellant. Section 23(3) of the Act states: “If, in the opinion of the board, the evidence in support of the opposite sides of an issue is approximately equal, the board shall resolve the issue in favour of the worker.” The tribunal will also consider this section of the Act when dealing with employer appeals.
Rules of evidence
The tribunal is not bound by strict rules of evidence. The tribunal will generally accept all evidence submitted and assign it the appropriate weight when making a decision on the appeal.
The board has established policies which provide WCB staff with guidelines for the interpretation and administration of the Act. When circumstances warrant, the tribunal may make an exception to the policy on an individual case. The tribunal bases all decisions on the language of the Act.
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