Clearing the backlog
MLAs hear Workers Compensation Board appeals should be dealt with by spring
A backlog of Workers Compensation Board claims being appealed should be cleared up by the spring, MLAs heard Thursday during a communities, land and environment committee meeting.
Constance Robinson, director of labour and industrial relations, told the MLAs that once the backlog is cleared there should be a steady stream of Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal decisions equal to the number of files coming in.
“That’s my said.
Earlier this week, the provincial government announced it had appointed 20 new temporary staffers to help reduce the wait times for appeals.
This year 40 hearings have been scheduled with the appeal tribunal, which is the highest number for a single year in the last decade.
Workers who disagree with Workers Compensation Board decisions first ask for an internal reconsideration.
If the board rejects the claim after that appeal, the worker can then escalate it to the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal.
That decision is given within 90 days of the appeal hearing.
Robinson said there are a lot of factors that go into the process from an appeal being vision,” she filed to the end.
“We do not have control over the number of files that go in every year,” she said.
The number of files has varied over the last 10 years from a low of 16 in one year to a high of 53 in 2016, Robinson said.
“The last three years been trending upwards.” it’s
Robinson said if everything is working perfectly it takes about seven months to file an appeal, make submissions, schedule a hearing, have the hearing and get a decision.
“In that time new files are coming in the pipeline,” she said.
She also said over the next few months she will be going over the data to figure out what resources are needed on an ongoing basis.
“By next spring we’ll know what we need to maintain our stay state so we don’t start slipping back into having cases carried over from one year to the next.”
Constance Robinson, director of labour and industrial relations, joins several other presenters at a communities, land and environment committee meeting Thursday in Charlottetown to discuss a backlog in Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal hearings.