Time Limits reinstated
The temporary suspension of the six-month time limit for injured or ill workers to file a claim for benefits has now ended.
This means that any time limits that would have expired between March 16, 2020 and September 13, 2020 are now back in effect.
What it means for you?
You are injured at work on May 1, 2020. You would have six months from September 14, 2020 to file a claim. The deadline to file the claim would therefore be March 14, 2021.
You are injured at work on September 29, 2019. The time limit for you to file a claim was set to expire on March 29, 2020. The six-month time limit would be paused on March 16, 2020 and re-started on September 14, 2020. Therefore, the new deadline to file a claim would be September 27, 2020.
It is important for workers to file their appeals in a timely manner. If you miss filing your appeal an extension of time limits is difficult to obtain.
I missed a Time Limit?
The Board has provided criteria to be applied in determining time limit extensions, in a document entitled “Appeal System, Practice and Procedures”. The document includes “Appendix A – Guidelines for Dealing with Appeal Time limits” ttps://websitedev.wsib.ca/sites/default/files/2019-03/appeals_practiceandprocedures_2018.pdf which sets out criteria the Board applies in determining time limit extensions at the Board level. The Tribunal’s criteria is similar. http://www.wsiat.on.ca/english/pd/pdTime.htm
The document provides a number of critieria that must be considered before an extension of time limits will be granted. These factors include:
- The length of the delay. The longer the delay the less likely WSIB or WSIAT will grant you an extension. Don’t wait appeal as soon as you get a decision you don’t agree with.
- Serious health problems (experienced by the party or the party’s immediate family) or the party leaving the province/country due to the ill health or death of a family member. |If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with cancer, serious mental illness, memory problems these will be taken into account.
- -Whether there was actual notice of the time limit. Sometimes the letters sent out by the WSIB do not contain a paragraph notifying you of the time you have to appeal. If this happens don’t wait too long. The evidence can get stale. Medical records are only kept for 10 years. Other records an even shorter period of time. These records are important in most cases. So, the longer you wait the harder it is to put forward a winning case.
- Whether there are other issues in the appeal that were appealed on time and closely related to the issues not appealed within the time limits. A great example of this is the suitability of your vocational goal at lock in. The ultimate question is your capacity to work and so the goal may indirectly become part of the appeal.
- The significance of the issue in dispute. If the issue has a major impact on either party (you as the worker or the employer this will be considered. But don’t rely on this criteria exclusively. Many appeals for time limit extensions have been denied despite the issue having a major impact on a worker’s benefits.
- Whether the party was able to understand the time limit requirements. This criteria takes into account language barriers where the worker was unable to understand the contents of the letter.
As with all decisions WSIB and WSIAT will consider the merits and justice of each individual case.
If you have any decisions from the WSIB that you do not agree with it is prudent to immediately appeal the decision so that you are not caught missing an important time limit that may impact your case in the future.
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