When new information comes to light, the Commission will reconsider your WCB appeal
Question: In 2018, the Appeals Commission decided that I wasn’t entitled to additional coverage for degenerative disc disease or osteoarthritis in the lumbar region of my spine. I’ve been in misery ever since, and recently new information has come to light regarding the original work injury. Will the Commission reconsider a case its previously decided on? Or am I just wasting time? Thank you, Brad W.
Answer: The Commission does have the authority to reconsider prior decisions where there’s sufficient grounds to do so. Section 13.1(7) of the WCA states:
“The Appeals Commission, at its discretion on the application of a person with a direct interest in the matter, or on its own motion, may reconsider any matter that it has dealt with and may confirm, rescind or amend any decision or order previously made by it.”
Before deciding to hold a hearing to reconsider a matter, the Appeals Commission will review the information you provide to determine whether there’s an arguable case for reconsideration. The application must be made on the prescribed form and meet the time limitations of rule 5.2 [conditions on reconsideration applications]. And where the Appeals Commission determines there’s an arguable case for reconsideration, a hearing is held to consider the merits of the application.
To meet the threshold for reconsideration a decision must show a significant defect in the appeal process or in the content of the decision which is likely to change the result of the original decision. A decision may also be reconsidered if the threshold panel is satisfied that new evidence is:
(a) is relevant to the decision, AND
(b) is likely to have had an impact on the original decision
Worth your time?
If the new evidence is compelling, measurable and/or empirical (i.e., discernable on an x-ray or MRI) and supported by a medical opinion (preferably from a specialist who’s examined you in person), then you’re well advised to submit a Reconsideration Request. If the Commission determines you have an arguable case based on the merits of the Reconsideration Request, you’re granted another opportunity to make your case.
Further, should you decide to pursue this, strongly consider engaging the services of an experienced worker’s rep; insights offered by a seasoned advocate will likely pay big dividends.