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Preparing for a Hearing FAQs

  1. How long will I have to prepare for the hearing?
  2. We will give you at least four weeks' notice of the hearing date. You should start gathering information and evidence now because it may take you some time to get it, especially medical evidence.

  3. Can I change the date you have set for the hearing?
  4. You have an opportunity to change the hearing date within 14 days of the notice of hearing letter. After that, we only change the dates of hearings in exceptional circumstances, such as a personal emergency. If you need to request a change of date in these circumstances, please make sure we receive any documents supporting your request, such as a letter from your doctor. Exceptional circumstances do not include vacations or requests for more time to gather further evidence or information.

  5. How long will the hearing take?
  6. Oral hearings usually take one hour. If you know that you will need more time, please tell us as soon as possible. Otherwise, if the hearing needs more time than we have scheduled, the vice chair may have to resume it later.

  7. Who will be present at my hearing?
  8. The appellant and their representative, and any participating respondent and their representative, have the right to speak to the vice chair during the hearing. Both the appellant and the respondent may bring witnesses to give evidence at the hearing. Please send us the names and addresses of the witnesses you will be bringing at least 21 days before the hearing.

    In some hearings, we may have security personnel present. If you have security concerns, please contact our Scheduling Department before the hearing.

  9. Do I need to attend the hearing?
  10. This is your opportunity to be heard. A hearing will generally not go ahead without the appellant. If the appellant does not come to the hearing we may dismiss their appeal.

    A participating respondent does not need to attend the hearing. They may still choose to send in a written submission before the hearing if they want to. A respondent who does not attend the hearing does not have the right to receive any evidence submitted at the hearing. They will not have the right to participate further in the appeal.

  11. Can I use an interpreter?
  12. Yes, you can ask for an interpreter on your Notice of Appeal form or letter, or on your Notice of Participation form, or by contacting the Scheduling Department at least two weeks before the hearing. We will provide the interpreter at no charge to you.

    You cannot use a friend or relative as an interpreter. The hearing may be rescheduled if the vice chair believes it necessary to provide an interpreter.

  13. Do I need to bring an expert, like a doctor, to the hearing?
  14. No. The vice chair will accept an expert's written report. Please send us the expert's written report at least 21 days before the hearing.

  15. What will happen if I don't have my evidence ready 21 days before the oral hearing?
  16. We won't change the hearing date if you don't have your evidence in time. At the hearing you can ask the vice chair to wait for it before deciding the appeal. The hearing will still proceed with all the other evidence. The vice chair will generally not accept more evidence after the oral hearing unless they specifically agree to do so at the hearing.

  17. What appeal expenses will WCAT order WorkSafeBC to pay?
  18. We may order WorkSafeBC to repay you for expenses related to an appeal, such as expenses for obtaining a letter or report from a doctor, for new written evidence, for getting a document translated into English, for travelling to the hearing, or for taking time off work to come to the hearing.

    If you have such expenses, give the vice chair copies of the bills. Keep your travel expense and lost wages receipts until the vice chair makes a decision on the appeal.

    Even if you are not successful in the appeal, we will generally order WorkSafeBC to repay you for your expenses for obtaining written evidence (such as a medical report) if the evidence was useful or helpful in deciding the appeal, or it was reasonable for you to have obtained the evidence for the appeal.

    For more information about appeal expenses, .

  19. What happens if I am late for my hearing?
  20. The vice chair will wait for 15 minutes for the appellant. If they are later, the vice chair may dismiss the appeal or reschedule the hearing.

    The vice chair will wait 5 minutes for a participating respondent before starting the hearing. A late respondent will be allowed to participate, but the vice chair may restrict the respondent's participation.

Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal. 150-4600 Jacombs Road, Richmond BC V6V 3B1 * All rights reserved.
Tel. (604) 664-7800 * Toll Free within BC 1 (800) 663-2782 * Fax (604) 664-7898