Dear Blue Collar,
(A) First off, overturning a claim decision begins with your case worker and h/her direct supervisor. Failing an amicable resolution at this level, the Request for Review is escalated to the Decision Review and Dispute Resolution Board. At this point, if things don’t your way, recourse may be sought with the Appeals Commission, a independent administrative tribunal that is separate and distinct from the WCB.
Now, if the Appeals Commission upholds WCB’s decision, you retain the option to pursue a judicial review. That said, the Court of Queen’s Bench has proven to be highly averse to overturning the AC’s rulings. The Court of Queen’s Bench will not contemplate questions of fact that pertain to your claim, but rather, to be reviewable, the case must turn on a pure question of law i.e., matters of jurisdiction or errors in procedure. Simply put, it’s exceedingly difficult to persuade a court system that’s backlogged by COVID to scrutinize an AC ruling. Exceptionally difficult actually. As such, every effort should be made to resolve disputes on the WCB levels of appeal. This means you should hire an experienced WCB specialist, someone who knows their way around WCB, not a courthouse.
In summary, consider a WCB specialist first, and then a WCB lawyer only as a last resort. You’d also want to contact the Office of the Ombudsman before pursuing a judicial review. Also bear in mind that Blue Collar Consulting specializes in claimant advocacy and appeal preparation and representation. Over and over again, we find that strategic negotiation with the Board will take you much further than rushing to file a statement of claim against the government.