Compensation Practice Directive: #C14-1 — Bill 63 Effective Dates and Transition Rules for Reopenings, Reconsiderations, Reviews and Appeals
The Legislature has enacted the Workers Compensation Amendment Act (No. 2), 2002 (“Bill 63”), which amends the Workers Compensation Act (the “Act”).
On November 30, 2002, Bill 63 amendments closing access to Medical Review Panel (‘MRP”) proceedings came into effect. On March 3, 2003, the remainder of Bill 63 was proclaimed.
Bill 63 creates a new review and appeal structure for the workers' compensation system. A primary change under the new legislation will be the discontinuance of the Workers Compensation Review Board, the Appeal Division and the Medical Review Panel.
Bill 63 reduces the levels of review and appeal from three to two and creates the following review/appeal bodies:
– An internal review body at the Board called the Review Division to review most initial decisions by Board officers.
– The Workers' Compensation Appeal Tribunal ("WCAT"), an independent appeal body external to the Board, which is the final level of appeal on most issues.
Other changes include the following:
–Significant limitations are placed upon the Board’s authority to reconsider decisions.
–New rules have been established for reopening matters that were previously decided by the Board.
–Policy is now binding throughout the workers' compensation system.
–The process for levying administrative penalties for health and safety violations under Part 3 of the Act is changed.