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Home About the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT)

About WCAT

The Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) is an independent organization that workers or employers can go to if they want to appeal a decision from WorkSafeBC.

WCAT is the final level of appeal in the B.C. workers’ compensation system. It has authority to decide appeals about specific types of work-related matters outlined in sections 288 and 289 of the Workers Compensation Act.

The Review Division at WorkSafeBC provides the first level review for decisions about compensation, vocational rehabilitation, assessment and occupational health and safety (prevention). Some Review Division decisions cannot be appealed to WCAT.


Careers

We’re currently hiring several vice chair positions. Work with us as an independent, appellate-level adjudicator. This role can be challenging, but it’s also rewarding. Vice chairs navigate a complex statutory and policy framework to provide fair, timely decisions.

WCAT is committed to creating a diverse workplace to represent and meet the needs of the population we serve. To support employment equity and diversity in the workplace, we welcome and encourage applications from all groups. This includes women, visible minorities, Indigenous Peoples, persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientation, gender identity or expression (LGBTQ2S+), and others who may contribute to diversity in public sector tribunal appointments.

WCAT offers a supportive workplace, career development opportunities and a competitive salary.

Learn more about the vice chair opportunity


COVID-19 response and safety plan

WCAT remains open and fully operational. We have taken steps to protect the health of parties, staff and the public, and prevent any risk of exposure to COVID-19, while ensuring the tribunal continues to operate as naturally as possible.

COVID-19 safety for visiting WCAT in-person

How WCAT operates

Processes are governed by Part 7 of the Workers Compensation Act, which includes guidance for WCAT’s organizational structure, jurisdiction, limits of responsibilities and functions.

Operations

WCAT will strive to provide:

  • Predictable, consistent, and efficient decision making
  • Independent and impartial decision making
  • Succinct, understandable, and high-quality decisions
  • Consistency with the Workers Compensation Act, policy, and WCAT’s precedent decisions
  • Communication within the workers compensation system while safeguarding WCAT’s independence
  • Integration and communication within the workers compensation system
  • Accountability through performance management
  • Appropriate balance between efficiency (timeliness and stewardship of scarce resources) and effectiveness (quality decision making)
  • Prompt, knowledgeable and responsive client service
  • Interpretive guidance for the workers compensation system

Decision making

  • WCAT will provide a decision with reasons within 180 days from the date that WorkSafeBC provides a copy of the file – more time may be required for complicated appeals
  • WCAT will apply WorkSafeBC policies unless the policy is inconsistent with the Workers Compensation Act
  • WCAT will follow its own precedent decisions unless it involved different circumstances
  • If the evidence is evenly balanced on a compensation issue, WCAT will decide the issue in favour of the worker. On assessment and prevention issues, WCAT will make its decisions on a balance of probabilities
  • WCAT decisions are final and conclusive

The Manual of Rules of Practice and Procedure (MRPP) defines how WCAT operates according to legislation. It includes rules of practice and procedure, practice directives and guidelines to make sure that appeals are handled in a just, timely, efficient and effective way.

Our team

The chair provides leadership to WCAT and sets the strategic direction of the Tribunal. The chair is the chief adjudicator and is also responsible for making lawfulness of policy decisions and delegation or procedural decisions.

This includes, receiving and registering notices of appeal, determining whether appeals meet the requirements of the Workers Compensation Act, determining whether WCAT has jurisdiction to hear the appeal, proposing the appeal method, and assigning appeals to WCAT panels. The registrar’s office also manages the written submissions process and schedules oral hearings. The registry consists of the Registrar, Deputy Registrars, a senior registry officer, assessment officers, appeal coordinators, intake, registration and scheduling clerks and support staff.

Appeals are considered and decided by a “panel.” A panel usually consists of one vice chair. The chair may assign a three-member panel in complex appeals, or a precedent panel if the matters in an appeal are of special interest or significance to the entire workers’ compensation system. After considering an appeal, the panel makes the final decision and gives written reasons.

Learn more about the role of vice chairs

This includes, managing the MRPP, responding to inquiries or complaints from the public or via the B.C. Ombudsperson, responding to inquiries under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, reviewing applications for reconsideration, and representing WCAT in judicial reviews. The TCO consists of Tribunal Counsel, the Vice Chair of Quality Assurance and Training, legal counsel, a medical coordinator, and support staff.

Reports

2020

December 31, 2020 (PDF, 229KB) | September 30, 2020 (PDF, 318KB) | June 30, 2020 (PDF, 293KB) | March 31, 2020 (PDF, 119KB)

2019

December 31, 2019 (PDF, 251KB) | September 30, 2019 (PDF, 291KB)| June 30, 2019 (PDF, 186KB) | March 31, 2019 (PDF, 179KB)

2018

December 31, 2018 (PDF, 41KB)| September 30, 2018 (PDF, 44KB)| June 30, 2018 (PDF, 43KB) | March 31, 2018 (PDF, 47KB)

2017

December 31, 2017 (PDF, 45KB) | September 30, 2017 (PDF, 47KB)| June 30, 2017 (PDF, 122KB) | March 31, 2017 (PDF, 160KB)

2016

December 31, 2016 (PDF, 33KB) | September 30, 2016 (PDF, 132KB)| June 30, 2016 (PDF, 14KB) | March 31, 2016 (PDF, 14KB)

2015

December 31, 2015 (PDF, 77KB) | September 30, 2015 (PDF, 85KB)| June 30, 2015 (PDF, 90KB) | March 31, 2015 (PDF, 125KB)

2014

December 31, 2014 (PDF, 86KB) | September 30, 2014 (PDF, 97KB)| June 30, 2014 (PDF, 95KB) | March 31, 2014 (PDF,96KB)

2013

December 31, 2013 (PDF, 96KB) | September 30, 2013 (PDF, 76KB)| June 30, 2013 (PDF, 419KB) | March 31, 2013 (PDF, 172KB)

2012

December 31, 2012 (PDF, 78KB) | September 30, 2012 (PDF, 82KB)| June 30, 2012 (PDF, 77KB) | March 31, 2012 (PDF, 73KB)

2011

December 31, 2011 (PDF, 116KB) | September 30, 2011 (PDF, 100KB)| June 30, 2011 (PDF, 131KB) | March 31, 2011 (PDF, 152KB)

2010

December 31, 2010 (PDF, 136KB) | September 30, 2010 (PDF, 137KB)| June 30, 2010 (PDF, 158KB) | March 31, 2010 (PDF, 148KB)

2009

December 31, 2009 (PDF, 92KB) | September 30, 2009 (PDF, 120KB)| June 30, 2009 (PDF, 122KB) | March 31, 2009 (PDF, 127KB)

2008

December 31, 2008 (PDF, 32KB) | September 30, 2008 (PDF, 40KB)| June 30, 2008 (PDF, 54KB) | March 31, 2008 (PDF, 37KB)

2007

December 31, 2007 (PDF, 39KB) | September 30, 2007 (PDF, 33KB)| June 30, 2007 (PDF, 167KB) | March 31, 2007 (PDF, 168KB)

2006

December 31, 2006 (PDF, 166KB) | September 30, 2006 (PDF, 145KB)| June 30, 2006 (PDF, 249KB) | March 31, 2006 (PDF, 161KB)

2005

December 31, 2005 (PDF, 133KB) | September 30, 2005 (PDF, 71KB)| June 30, 2005 (PDF, 160KB) | March 31, 2005 (PDF, 158KB)

2004

December 31, 2004 (PDF, 282KB) | September 30, 2004 (PDF, 393KB)| June 30, 2004 (PDF, 242KB) | March 31, 2004 (PDF, 353KB)