In October of 2002, the Provincial Government of British Columbia passed Bill 63, the Workers Compensation Amendment Act, (No. 2), 2002, which changed the WCB appeal structure. These changes took effect on March 3, 2003.
The main operational changes resulting from the legislative amendments is that the number of levels of review or appeal have been reduced from three (Workers’ Compensation Review Board, the Appeal Division and the Medical Review Panel) to two (Review Division and Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT)).
Under this new appeal system, a party now has 90 days to appeal a decision of the Workers’ Compensation Board to the Review Division. The Review Division then has 150 days to make its decision.
The WCAT is an independent body intended to be the last level of appeal for Workers’ Compensation Board decisions. Its decisions are final, but a party may apply for a reconsideration of a WCAT decision in certain circumstances.
For most decisions from the Review Division, a party may, within 30 days, appeal to the WCAT. An appeal of a discrimination issue or of a decision to reopen or not to reopen a claim must be submitted within 90 days of the decision. The WCAT then has 180 days to render a decision.
(click here for WCB’s guide to Bill 63 amendments)