The purpose of your written submission is to persuade WCAT to see the evidence in a way that favours your position on the appeal. This is called your argument. When making your argument in your written submission, refer to your evidence. You can make your submission in point form if you wish. Try to make your points as clearly as you can. You must provide all your submissions and evidence prior to the appeal being decided.
The vice chair will read your WorkSafeBC file and will know about the WorkSafeBC policies that apply to your case, other WCAT decisions that involve issues like yours, and WCAT rules, practices and procedures. If you want to prepare a written submission, here are some other things you can do.
You should first read all of the material in the WorkSafeBC file. You will then know what evidence and policies WorkSafeBC or the Review Division relied on to make the decision appealed. You can then decide what new evidence you want to provide us together with your written submission that you did not give at an earlier stage.
You do not need to send us any of the material from the WorkSafeBC file because we already have a copy.
We do not translate documents. If the evidence you gather is not in English, please have it translated before sending it in to us along with a signed translator's declaration. You cannot use a friend or relative as a translator. If you have to pay for the translation, you can ask us to order WorkSafeBC to repay you. For further information on appeal expenses, see our Written Submission Guide.
We will not generally accept late written evidence or submission unless you ask us for more time before sending it in and we agree.
If you are the appellant, begin by briefly identifying the decision that is under appeal and the precise issues or questions you want us to consider. Clearly state what you want from the appeal (such as a certain amount of compensation) and why we should decide in your favour.
A good submission points out the important evidence in the appeal. To decide if a piece of evidence is important, ask yourself if it helps you prove a particular fact.
Organize your written submission by date so we do not overlook anything. Tell us where to find each piece of evidence. For example, is it in the WorkSafeBC file or in the new evidence you are providing with your submission? Explain how you think each piece of evidence supports your position on the appeal. For example, if you have obtained a new statement from a witness that supports your position, tell us which one it is and how it supports your position.
A good submission identifies the evidence both for and against your position. It shows that you understand the strengths and weaknesses of your case. Explain why the evidence that supports your position is better than the evidence that does not. For example, the evidence of someone who saw something happen is better than the evidence of someone who only heard about it from someone else.
Many appeals are decided on the basis of the evidence alone. Sometimes, the law and the policy become particularly important. In that case, the Review Division will usually have identified the legal or policy issues in their decision. In your submission, refer to the WorkSafeBC policies that applies to the appeal and explain how they apply.
Although you will naturally feel strongly about the circumstances of the appeal, it is a good idea to avoid strongly emotional language, such as sarcasm about another person's point of view. A plain tone is most effective.
You can learn how to make the best case for the appeal by looking at WCAT decisions involving issues like yours. You can then refer to the policies that apply to and perhaps support your position on the appeal.
You can find what WorkSafeBC policies apply to the appeal by reading WorkSafeBC's Rehabilitation Services and Claims Manual. You can also use WorkSafeBC's practice directives to help you make your case.