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Home Appeal a decision Give notice to start an appeal

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You need to give formal written notice to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) that you want to appeal a WorkSafeBC decision.


Write a letter

Send a letter to WCAT. Make sure to include:

  • The decision or order that you’re appealing. For WorkSafeBC Review Division decisions, include the date and review reference numbers for the items you’d like to appeal
  • An explanation of why you think the decision is wrong
  • The specific results you want from WCAT (e.g. more compensation)
  • Contact information – name, address, phone number, and email (also the name and phone number of your representative, if you have one)
  • WorkSafeBC claim number (or file number)
  • How you’d like your appeal to be heard (by written submission or oral hearing)
  • You can also choose to self-declare your Indigenous ancestry

Phone WCAT

Any time up to or including the deadline to start an appeal, you can call WCAT to note your intent to appeal. You will then be given time to submit a Notice of Appeal form (usually 21 days). WCAT will not take any more action until the form is received. If it’s not received in time, the appeal is not started.

The deadline to start an appeal

Your notice of appeal must be received by WCAT within 30 days of the Review Division decision date. Do not wait to start your appeal until you have collected information or evidence first. Evidence and information will be collected later in the appeal process.

Ask for more time

You may be able to have more time to start an appeal if there were special circumstances that prevented you from appealing in time.

What happens next?

WCAT will send you a letter with an appeal number along with instructions on how to proceed. If more information is needed to start your appeal, you will need to send it within 21 days of the date of the letter.

If your notice of appeal is complete, it’s time to start preparing your case.

Types of appeals

  • Acceptance of a work injury or occupational disease
  • Amount of compensation (amount of money or benefits awarded)
  • Amount of short-term disability benefits
  • Permanent disability benefits
  • The wage rate for payment of compensation
  • Health care benefits (medications, physiotherapy, massage therapy, compensation for surgery, medical appliances, allowances for special care needs, etc.)

  • In the event that a worker’s injury is taking longer to heal or the permanent disability is worse because they had a pre-existing condition, an employer can seek “relief of claims costs” so that the full cost of the worker’s injury is not assessed against the employer in the calculation of its assessment premium (section 240(1)(d) of the WCA)
  • The classification unit used for assessment
  • Amount of assessable payroll
  • Charging of claim costs for failing to report and/or pay assessments at the time of a worker’s injury or occupational disease (section 263 of the WCA)
  • Claims experience rating (section 247 of the WCA)Another employer should have to pay compensation (section 249 of the WCA)
  • Another employer should have to pay compensation (section 249 of the WCA)

  • A penalty charged for an occupational health and safety violation
  • An order used to charge a penalty for an occupational health and safety violation (see section 95(1) of the WCA)
  • Charges for claim costs where a worker was injured, died or was disabled by an occupational disease because of gross negligence, not adopting reasonable means to prevent injuries, deaths, or occupational diseases, or for not complying with WorkSafeBC orders or directions (section 251(1) of the WCA)
  • An order to cancel or suspend a certificate of an occupational first aid attendant or instructor, a medical certificate of a worker’s fitness for a specific type of work, or a certificate of a blaster or blasting instructor (section 96 of the WCA)

  • A prohibited action occurs when a worker is treated unfairly or is penalized by their employer or union for raising a health and safety concern.
  • Prohibited action decisions can be appealed directly – they do not require a review from the Review Division.

  • Issues or questions not included in the decision from WorkSafeBC or the Review Division — you will need to ask WorkSafeBC for a new decision
  • Decisions about vocational rehabilitation benefits
  • Whether or not to refer a decision back to WorkSafeBC
  • Whether or not to give more time to bring a review to the Review Division
  • The way a review officer handled an appeal
  • A request for a lump-sum award (to commute an award) for a permanent disability
  • Assessment rate group or industry group
  • Orders under the OHS Provisions of the Workers Compensation Act that were not used to impose a penalty under section 95(1) of the Act
  • Conditions placed on a certificate of an occupational first aid attendant or instructor, a worker’s fitness for a specific type of work, or a blaster or blasting instructor

Who can participate

Anyone who may be directly affected by an appeal are invited to participate.

The person who applies for an appeal. Only someone who is directly affected by a decision can appeal that decision. Usually, appellants are a worker or an employer. For compensation appeals, it may be the dependent or estate of a deceased worker.

The person or group that responds to an appeal started by an appellant. Respondents are persons or organizations that are directly affected by an appeal. They choose to participate in the appeal process.

Respond to an invitation to join an appeal

A respondent has the right to respond fully to an appeal, including receiving a copy of the WorkSafeBC file, presenting evidence, examining witnesses at a hearing, and making verbal or written arguments.

A respondent can be a worker or an employer. Employers are invited to participate in any appeal that involves one of their workers because they pay WorkSafeBC premiums.

Respondents may also include:

  • Another employer or group of employers on other assessment appeals, such as employer classification and cost transfer
  • Dependents or the estate of a deceased worker
  • For occupational health and safety appeals, a supplier, owner, union representative, or any family member of a deceased worker may be invited to participate

Sometimes other interested parties are invited to participate in an appeal by WCAT:

  • For appeals about penalties for occupational health and safety violations, the following parties may be invited to provide relevant information: the joint health and safety committee or the worker health and safety representative, and the worker representative named in the inspection report
  • For occupational health and safety and assessment appeals, WorkSafeBC may be invited to provide relevant information
  • For appeals asking for relief of costs or transfer of costs, a worker is invited to provide relevant information

Appellants and respondents can authorize someone to participate on their behalf. Representatives offer advice and help a party explain their side of the appeal. They can be a family member, friend, lawyer, compensation consultant, someone from a union or employers’ association, or an advisor from the from the Employers’ Advisors Office or the Workers’ Advisors Office.

Delay implementing a WorkSafeBC decision

Employers who are starting an appeal can request a stay to delay the implementation of a WorkSafeBC decision while the appeal is in progress (e.g. delaying the payment of a penalty). Written application for a stay must be received by WCAT within seven days of receiving a notice of appeal.

Submit the following form to request a stay:

A stay is an extraordinary remedy and may not be granted. Requests are evaluated based on:

  • Whether your appeal has merit
  • Whether you would likely suffer serious harm if the stay were not granted (e.g. the loss of a business)
  • Which party would suffer more if the stay were granted or denied
  • Whether granting the stay would endanger the workers’ safety

A stay application will not be considered if:

  • An appeal is late and has not been granted a time extension
  • An appeal is missing important information
  • A written submission about the above factors has not been provided within seven days of WCAT receiving a Notice of Appeal

Ask for help

Get assistance with your appeal. Find out who can help.

Talk with our experienced team about using Indigenous culture and approach as part of your appeal process.


Manual of Rules of Practice & Procedure (MRPP)
Chapter 3: Jurisdiction
Chapter 4: Who May Appeal
Chapter 5: How to Appeal