Terms We Use

The Act

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997. It replaced the Workers’ Compensation Act.


After the WSIAT makes a Case Record, any new documents that need to be added are put together in a booklet called an addendum. An addendum is used at a hearing in the same way as a case record so that everyone is able to look at the same information.


Sometimes someone taking part in the appeal may not be able to come on the day it is scheduled. Sometimes after an appeal hearing is started, information that is needed may not be ready. When these things happen, a hearing can be stopped and moved to another date. When this happens, the WSIAT calls it an adjournment.


Adjudication means deciding a case. It is when the people who will decide a case hear the arguments of the people involved in the case and make a decision.


An adjudicator is a person who decides a case. At the WSIAT, a case is usually decided by one adjudicator (a Vice-Chair). Sometimes it is decided by three adjudicators (a Vice-Chair, a Worker Member and Employer Member).

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

Some kinds of appeals can be settled without going to an appeal hearing. Alternative Dispute Resolution is a way of settling an appeal by talking about it and sometimes meeting with the other people involved in the appeal. WSIAT staff can sometimes help with this by bringing everyone together and trying to get them to agree to a way of settling the appeal.


An appeal is when you ask that a decision about your case be looked at by a higher-level decision-maker to make sure it is correct.


An appellant is the person who makes the appeal to the WSIAT.

Case Record

A case record is a booklet, prepared by the WSIAT that contains the important documents and information from your appeal. It also contains documents from your WSIB claim file. Case Records are used at hearings so that everyone is able to look at the same information. Case Records are available in paper or PDF format.


This is what the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board calls a request for compensation benefits.


At the end of a hearing, the person deciding the appeal writes a decision. It tells everyone involved in the appeal whether or not the appeal is allowed or denied. It also gives the reasons why the appeal was allowed or denied.

Entitlement to Benefits

Some workers who have suffered a work-related injury or disability may receive money from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. If it is decided that they deserve this money it is called "entitlement to benefits".


All the documents, medical opinions and statements which are required in order to make a decision in an appeal.


A hearing is a meeting where the adjudicators who will decide the appeal get together to listen to the arguments of each side. Some hearings are done in writing, where you write down your argument and send it to the adjudicators who will make the decision. Some hearings are done in person, where you come to a meeting with the person who will make the decision, and tell them your argument and answer their questions.


Sometimes an appeal is not ready to go ahead to a hearing because the people involved in it are not ready, or because information is missing. When this happens, the WSIAT can make an appeal “inactive”. This means that the appeal will not move forward to hearing until the information that is needed is given to the WSIAT.


Mediation is a way of settling an issue without going to a hearing. Everyone who is part of the appeal meets and talks with a mediator about how they would like the appeal to be settled. If everyone can agree, the agreement goes to a Vice-Chair who may write a decision approving the agreement. The appeal can then be closed.


A Member is a person from the WSIAT who helps to decide appeals. There are members for both workers and employers. In some appeals they work with Vice-Chairs at hearings to talk to the people involved in the appeal and help write the decision. The Ontario Government appoints members to the WSIAT.


Notice means telling someone about something. For example, by giving someone “notice of appeal”, you are letting them know that you are starting an appeal at the WSIAT.


An Order-in-Council (OIC) is an order made by the government of Ontario. Each Vice-Chair and Member of the WSIAT is named to their position through an Order-in-Council appointment. Vice-Chairs and Members are sometimes also called “OICs”.


Office of the Employer Adviser. It helps smaller employers with workplace safety and insurance claims and appeals.


Office of the Worker Adviser. It helps workers who are not members of unions with workplace safety and insurance claims and appeals.


A party is worker or employer who has decided to become involved in an appeal. Usually, only people who may be affected by how the appeal is decided can become involved. No one has to take part in an appeal if they do not want to, but the WSIAT can still decide the appeal.


A panel is the people who will decide an appeal. A Vice-Chair, a Worker Member and an Employer Member, decide some appeals that are more complicated. Together, these three people are called a panel.


The written rules the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board uses to interpret and apply the Act to individual cases.

Practice Direction

The WSIAT has the power to decide the rules it will use for appeals. Sometimes the WSIAT writes “practice directions” as a guide for persons taking part in appeals. The practice directions explain how to deal with the different steps of an appeal.

Proof of Service

The WSIAT needs to know that some of the papers that you give to the WSIAT have also been given to the other people involved in the appeal. This is done by giving proof that they have been “served” with or given this material. Things such as a fax confirmation form or receipt from a courier can be used as written proof.


Sometimes, after an appeal has been decided, the WSIAT can look at its decision again to make sure that it was right. If new information comes up that might change the case, or if you feel the person who decided your appeal made a serious mistake, you can ask for reconsideration. You must give your reasons in writing. If the WSIAT feels that a reconsideration is needed it will look at the appeal again and may change the decision.


Most people who take part in an appeal at the WSIAT have a person who knows about workers’ compensation help them. This person is called your representative. The representative deals with the WSIAT for you and presents your case at the hearing.


A person who starts an appeal at the WSIAT is called the appellant. The other person or people involved in the appeal are called respondents. For example, when a worker starts an appeal, the employer is usually the respondent. When an employer starts an appeal, the worker is usually the respondent.


Presenting arguments on law, a policy or facts about a case, either in person or in writing to a decision-maker.

Time Extension

You have six months to start an appeal with the WSIAT after you get a final decision from the WSIB. If you miss this deadline, you can ask for a time extension to start your appeal. This means you have to tell the WSIAT in writing why you were late starting your appeal and why you should be allowed to appeal.


When you come to a hearing at the WSIB or WSIAT, everything discussed in the room is recorded. If you wish, you can ask for a written copy of this recording, called a transcript. There are costs for making the transcript, which you must pay.


A Vice-Chair is the person from the WSIAT who will hear your appeal and write the decision. For some types of appeals Vice-Chairs work with Worker Members and Employer Members to hear and decide the case. The Ontario Government appoints Vice-Chairs to the WSIAT.


Workers’ Compensation Act.


Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997. The law of the province of Ontario that provides benefits and services to eligible workers after a work related injury.


Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, (formerly the Ontario Workers’ Compensation Board), is a public organization, created by the government that decides who is entitled to benefits and services under the law. The WSIB also provides these benefits and services.


The Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal. The final level of appeal in the workplace safety and insurance system. It is separate from and independent of the WSIB.