WCB, or WorkSafe BC as it is currently known, is a complex system to navigate. Lehal Law has extensive experience representing injured workers with workers compensation claims at all levels of appeals including judicial reviews. Kamaljit Lehal articled at WCB allowing her to bring that perspective and knowledge to assist her clients.
If you are injured or suffer a disease which arose during the course of your employment you have the right to report the injury or disease to WCB.
Most people working in British Columbia, whether they’re working full time, part time, on contract, as casual labour, or the principals or owners of a company, are covered by WCB. You are covered even if your employer has failed to register with WCB. If you are self-employed and are not covered for compensation benefits, you may be eligible for Personal Optional Protection.
If you take time off work or incur health care costs as a result of your injury or disease you may be entitled to compensation benefits from WCB. Workers receive wage-loss benefits until they are determined to be able to return to work or they have recovered from the injury. If an employer can provide light or modified duties, and the doctor agrees it’s safe for the worker to do so, they can return to work to those duties.
If the worker is not recovered and unable to return to work, then the worker’s condition may be deemed permanent and a referral to the vocational and/or disability awards department may be made.
If your claim, or any aspect of your claim, is not accepted by WCB you will receive a letter setting out the basis of the decision. You have a right to appeal the WCB decision. Typically, the first step in your appeal would involve filing an appeal to the Review Division within 90 days of the WCB decision. This appeal is normally conducted by way of written submissions.
If you disagree with the decision of the Review Division you may have the right to appeal the decision to the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT). WCAT appeals must be filed within 30 days of the Review Division decision and hearings may be conducted in person or in writing. Complex matters are often heard in person.
If you wish to appeal WCAT’s decision, you can seek “Reconsideration” and, finally, if the matter is still not acceptable to you, you can seek a judicial review of the decision.
Lehal Law can assist you with each of these stages. Please contact Lehal Law for a free initial consultation.