Frequently Asked Questions

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What does a Workers’ Advisor or Advocate do?

 

Workers’ Advisors and Advocates provide free confidential services to injured workers and their dependants in Canada’s provinces and territories who need assistance in appealing their worker compensation claims.

They provide independent advice on workers’ compensation claims and professional assistance in preparing and presenting cases for review and appeal.

Advisors and Advocates provide information on:

 

  • applying for benefits;

  • reduction or end of benefits;

  • rehabilitation or training;

  • wage loss;

  • medical aid; and

  • survivor benefits.

  

 

How can an Advisor or Advocate help?

 

All advisors and advocates are specialists in interpreting and applying the workers’ compensation legislation as well as the policies and procedures of the workers compensation board or commission in their location. They will let you know if you have grounds for review, or they may suggest alternatives to filing an appeal. Your advisor or advocate may accompany and/or represent you at appeal hearings.

  

 

Is there a fee?

 

No.  There is no charge for the services that you receive.

  

 

Are my benefits impacted if I use the services of a Workers' Advisor or Advocate? 

 

No. There are no fees or commissions associated with services from an Advisor or Advocate.

 

 

What happens when I contact your Office for help?

 

We will listen to your concerns and answer your questions. You should also be prepared to tell us about your claim. For instance; the date of your written decision, the reasons given for the decision and why you disagree with it.

If we are unable to answer your question(s), we will try to help you find the answer or direct you to where you will be able to get assistance.

 

 Do you help everyone who contacts you?

 

Yes, we will provide advice and assistance to everyone who contacts our office; however the help that workers receive will depend on the details of their individual case. In all cases, we will ensure that we discuss the options available to you. Remember, this is your appeal and you must be comfortable with the steps that are taken.

 

 

When won't the Workers' Advisor or Advocate  represent me in an appeal?

 

We may not be able to help you if:

  • our review of your compensation claim indicates that the board or commission has not made an error in interpreting or applying the legislation and/or policies;

  • the evidence available does not support the argument you wish to make;

  • you submit your own appeal and do not wish to have it withdrawn;

  • you have a lawyer, a union representative or some other person actively working on your file; and

  • you ask the advisor or advocate to stop representing you because you do not wish to continue with an appeal.

 

When should I contact a Workers’ Advisor or Advocate?

 

You should contact a Workers’ Advisor or Advocate if and when:

  • you have questions about your compensation claim(s) and want advice and assistance with your rights and responsibilities as an injured worker; and

  • you receive a written decision from your compensation board or commission about a claim and you disagree with it and want advice and assistance on a potential appeal.

 

What can I do to help?

 

It is important that you:

  • see your doctor regularly for ongoing care;

  • attend all medical appointments;

  • continue or complete all medical treatments your doctor recommends (i.e. home exercise program, nutrition plan, use of medical aids, etc.);

  • seek work within your capabilities and keep a record of your job search;

  • make new medical information available promptly; and

  • obtain a copy of your file to determine if there are any factual errors in the file that need to be corrected.

 

What can delay an appeal?

 

An appeal may be delayed if:

  • there are a number of issues that have to be dealt with;

  • medical information and/or opinion is needed from a specialist, doctor, chiropractor, etc.;

  • medical or other investigation has to be completed;

  • prior claims for injuries may need to be reviewed; and

  • a worker requests that the appeal be placed on hold.

  

 

If the Advisor or Advocate is not representing me, can I still appeal the compensation decision?

 

Yes, if we determine that we cannot represent you, it has no effect on your right to appeal. We can still provide advice and assistance with regards to your file to assist you in appealing on your own.

This can include answering questions about legislation or policies, reviewing your appeal letter, or helping you prepare for an appeal hearing.

 

Is there a risk in appealing?

 

We recommend that you ask your advisor or advocate. In some jurisdictions, when you appeal a decision, a complete review of your file may be undertaken. If you are currently receiving benefits, there is a possibility that these benefits may change (increase or decrease) even if your appeal is not about that particular benefit.

 

 Can my employer and I agree to not report my injury?

 

No. You and your employer are legally required to report all work related injuries that need medical attention, even if you don’t miss any time at work. Any agreement to not report an injury is illegal.

  

 

If the injury was my fault, am I still covered?

 

Yes. It doesn’t matter who or what caused your injury.  WCB is a no fault system and every work-related injury is covered regardless of who is to be blamed - the employee, employer or co-worker.

  

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

 

This publication contains general information only. It is not legal advice about a particular situation and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified CAWAA representative. For complete details, contact a CAWAA member location closest to you. Go to Find an Advisor or Advocate.