Reviews and Appeals

What if I don't agree with a decision made by WorkSafeBC?

If you disagree with a decision that WorkSafeBC has made about your claim you can appeal that decision.  There are two levels of appeal in the workers’ compensation system.  For most issues, the first level of appeal is the Review Division and the second level of appeal is the Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT). An appeal to the Review Division is called a “Review”.  An appeal to the WCAT is called an “Appeal”. For more information read our Factsheets:

Reviews of WorkSafeBC Decisions Factsheet

Appeals to the Worker's Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) Factsheet

Anyone who is directly affected by a decision can request a review or initiate an appeal.

Make sure you are aware of your deadlines and that you send your information and forms in on time

What is the Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT)?

WCAT is independent of WSBC. In an appeal, WCAT has the power to change the Review Division decision and some WSBC decisions about your claim for benefits.

WCAT decisions are made by a panel of WCAT. A panel comprised of a single WCAT Vice-Chair will decide most appeals. Very rarely, a three or seven-person panel may decide your appeal.


What if WCAT makes a mistake?

You can contact the Ombudsman if you believe the WCAT panel has made a mistake involving administrative unfairness. The Ombudsman does not act as an advocate for individual workers. The Ombudsman's responsibility is to review policies and procedures followed by an agency, to make sure it is being fair to the people it serves. The Ombudsman cannot change a WCAT decision, but can make recommendations to WCAT if it's policies meant that a worker did not get a fair hearing.

What if I miss the deadline to apply for either a Request for Review or a Notice of Appeal?

If the Review Division does not receive your Request for Review form within the 90-day deadline, your review will not proceed unless you successfully apply for an extension of time. 

Likewise, if the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) does not receive your Notice of Appeal form within 30 days of the date of a Review Division decision, your appeal will not proceed unless you successfully apply for an extension of time. 

Find out what steps you need to take to start a late review or appeal in our Extension of Time Application Factsheet.

Warning: Extensions of time are rarely granted. If you need to ask for an extension of time, you must do so as soon as you know you missed the deadline. After you have done this you may wish to get advice from your union representative or from the Workers' Advisers Office