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.
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.
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
- 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
Decision #1 Delegation by the Chair, March 3, 2003 (PDF, 170KB)
Decision #2 MRPP Established (PDF, 83KB)
Decision #3 Parking Lot (PDF, 78KB)
Decision #4 MRPP Amended March 29, 2004 (PDF, 99KB)
Decision #5 MRPP Amended April 29, 2004 (PDF, 81KB)
Decision #6 Delegation by the Chair, June 1, 2004 (PDF, 194KB)
Decision #7 MRPP Amended December 3, 2004 (PDF, 83KB)
Decision #8 Delegation by the Chair, March 3, 2006 (PDF, 69KB)
Decision #9 Delegation by the Chair, February 1, 2007 (PDF, 67KB)
Decision #10 MRPP Amended February 13, 2008 (PDF, 9KB)
Decision #11 MRPP Amended November 13, 2008 (PDF, 9KB)
Decision #12 Delegation by the Chair, January 2, 2009 (PDF, 64KB)
Decision #13 MRPP Amended November 3, 2009 (PDF, 16KB)
Decision #14 MRPP Amended May 5, 2010 (Section 8 Extension of Time) (PDF, 44KB)
Decision #15 MRPP Amended March 9, 2011 (PDF, 61KB)
Decision #16 Delegation by the Chair, July 10, 2012 (PDF, 62KB)
Decision #17 Delegation by the Chair, May 15, 2014 (PDF, 63KB)
Decision #18 Delegation by the Chair, May 29, 2014 (PDF, 64KB)
Decision #19 Delegation by the Chair, March 13, 2015 (PDF, 63KB)
Decision #20 MRPP Amended March 25, 2015 (PDF, 106KB)
Decision #21 MRPP Amended May 8, 2015 (PDF, 1.0MB)
Decision #22 MRPP Amended April 26, 2016 (with Appendix A) (PDF, 65KB)
Decision #23 Delegation by the Chair, November 10, 2016 (PDF, 196KB)
Decision #24 MRPP Amended March 30, 2017 (PDF, 54KB)
Decision #25 MRPP Amended April 6, 2020 (PDF, 2.0MB)
Decision #26 MRPP Amended August 17, 2020 (PDF, 102KB)
Decision #27 MRPP Amended December 1, 2020 (PDF, 294KB)
Decision #28 Delegation by the Chair, July 29, 2021 (PDF, 169KB)
Decision #29 Delegation by the Chair, September 3, 2021 (PDF, 191KB)
Decision #30 Delegation by the Chair, January 27, 2022 (PDF, 195KB)
Decision #31 MRPP Revisions, March 8, 2022 (PDF, 1MB)
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.
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.
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