The Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal has decided in WCAT-2012-01018 that the WCB’s policy on the payment of interest on retroactive benefits is so patently unreasonable that it is incapable of being supported by the Workers Compensation Act. The Chair of the Tribunal found that the “blatant error” test in the policy creates an arbitrary distinction. The Chair held, “By focusing on the type of error that has resulted in the delay of the compensation, the board of directors has exercised its general authority to make policy under section 82 of the Act in a patently unreasonable manner because the policy creates an arbitrary distinction not related to the purpose of interest under the Act.”
Pursuant to the procedure set out in section 251 of the Workers’ Compensation Act, the matter of the interest policy will now be referred to the board of directors. The directors must review the policy and determine whether the Appeal Tribunal may refuse to apply it in the appeals still pending before the Tribunal.
More information on the referral of the policy back to the WCB’s board of directors is available on the Tribunal’s website.