A list of terms we often use and what they mean.
These short-form terms are commonly used by the Appeals Commission.
- AC – Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers' Compensation
- ADP – Appeal Documents Package
- CPS – Chronic Pain Syndrome
- DOA – Date of Accident
- DRDRB – Dispute Resolution and Decision Review Body (a WCB review body)
- ELP – Economic Loss Payment
- ELS – Earnings Loss Supplement
- FCE – Functional Capacity Evaluation
- HMA – Home Maintenance Allowance
- IME – Independent Medical Exam
- MVA – Motor Vehicle Accident
- NELP – Non-economic Loss Payment
- OH & S – Occupational Health and Safety
- PCA – Personal Care Allowance
- PCI – Permanent Clinical Impairment
- PPD – Permanent Partial Disability
- PTD – Permanent Total Disability
- RSD – Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
- RTW – Return to Work
- TOJ – Training on the Job
- TPD – Temporary Partial Disability
- TTD – Temporary Total Disability
- WCB – Workers' Compensation Board
KEY ORGANIZATIONS AND LEGISLATION
A disability insurance system set-up under the Alberta Workers' Compensation Act. It provides benefits, including money paid for lost wages, health care, and other related costs when workplace injuries occur.
Workers' Compensation Act (WCA)
Legislation enacted by the Legislative Assembly of Alberta (provincial government) that creates the workers' compensation system. Both the Workers' Compensation Board and the Appeals Commission are bound by the provisions of this legislation.
Workers' Compensation Board (WCB)
An independent organization that manages and administers the workers' compensation insurance business based on legislation. The WCB is not a provincial government department or crown agency.
WCB review body
The first level of appeal, formerly known as the Claims Services Review Committee (CSRC) or the Assessment Review Committee (ARC), now known as the Dispute Resolution and Decision Review Body (DRDRB).
Dispute Resolution and Decision Review Body (DRDRB)
The Dispute Resolution and Decision Review Body is the first level of appeal within the Workers' Compensation Board dealing with assessment and claim issues.
Appeals Commission (AC)
The Appeals Commission is the second, and final, level of appeal for workers and employers who are dissatisfied with decisions made by the Workers' Compensation Board. The Appeals Commission is an administrative tribunal, and its decision-making is independent of the Workers' Compensation Board.
Advisor Office for Alberta Workers' Compensation
The Advisor Office offers employers and injured workers free advice, information, and representation during the appeal process. The Advisor Office is an independent program of the Appeals Commission that is separate from the WCB.
Medical Panels Program
The Medical Panels Program resolves differences in medical opinion on a WCB claim. It refers matters to panels of physicians who make medical decisions. The Medical Panels Program is an independent program of the Appeals Commission that is separate from the WCB.
A member of the Advisor Office for Alberta Workers' Compensation who offers injured workers and employers advice, information, and representation in the appeals process. There is no charge for the service of an Appeals Advisor.
An Appeals Commission staff member who reviews the claim file and compiles the related information into an Appeal Documents Package (ADP).
The Appeals Assistant provides administrative support during the hearing, such as monitoring the recording equipment and making copies of documents, if needed.
An Appeals Commission staff member who does the initial review of an appeal request and ensures the appeal is ready to be assigned to an Appeals Officer.
A party that requests an appeal.
Board of Directors
The governing body of the Alberta Workers' Compensation Board, appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council. The Board of Directors determines WCB policy, reviews and approves the programs and operating policies, considers and approves annual operating and capital budgets of the WCB, and may enact bylaws and pass resolutions for the conduct of the business and affairs of the WCB.
Chief Appeals Commissioner
The principal Commissioner for the Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers' Compensation.
An individual appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council who is a member of a hearing panel that hears and decides appeals.
A Commissioner who conducts hearings at the Appeals Commission and is a member of panels that hear and decide appeals.
A group of Commissioners assigned to hear and decide an appeal. Most hearing panels consist of three Commissioners: one Hearing Chair and two Commissioners.
An individual who attends a hearing, but does not participate in the proceedings. This may be a friend or family member brought to a hearing for moral support.
The Ombudsman of Alberta is given the authority by the Legislative Assembly to conduct impartial investigations on receipt of written complaints from people who believe they have been treated unfairly by agencies operating under provincial legislation.
A person with a direct interest in an appeal or any other person who has applied for and obtained party status.
A party who has expressed intention to participate in an appeal.
An agent, lawyer, Appeals Advisor or other representative authorized, in writing, to act on behalf of any person in a proceeding.
A respondent is the other party who has an immediate or primary interest in the outcome of the appeal. An appellant may be a worker, in which case the respondent is the employer. Likewise, if an employer requests an appeal, the respondent who has the primary interest in the matter is the worker.
An individual who will attend the hearing, with the intention of providing evidence to the panel. For example, this may be a co-worker who witnessed the work-related accident. Expert witnesses give evidence in an area of speciality based on their expertise, such as doctors or engineers.
More appeal-related terms
Any postponement of an appeal, other than a withdrawal. See Adjournment Requests (Practice Guideline #2B).
The Appeals Commission has the ability to issue a document that corrects a minor typographical error in an issued decision, provides an explanation of information contained in an issued decision, or provides direction to the WCB regarding the implementation of an Appeals Commission decision.
These clarifications become part of a hearing panel's decision and must be read together with the original decision.
The written outcome of an appeal.
To consider in a specific way.
Where no date is set for the hearing of an appeal within six months of an adjournment and no further adjournment has been granted, the appeal may be dismissed. See Appeal Rules, Rule 3.13.
The right to a specific benefit or award.
An issue is a concern raised by an appellant regarding a decision made by a WCB review body. Examples of issues include: denial of a repeat assessment for marked life disruption and denial of further temporary total disability (TTD) benefits.
The exclusive authority to administer and apply legislation.
When differences in medical opinions cannot be resolved through other measures, an independent medical panel may be arranged to resolve any conflicting opinions that impact the benefits you receive. A medical panel consists of three specialist physicians, chosen for their expertise in dealing with the issues under review. The medical panel is selected by a medical panel commissioner.
An official proclamation signed by the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta appointing individuals as Commissioners for the Appeals Commission.
The Alberta King's Printer publishes, distributes and sells copies of Alberta's legislation, selected federal legislation, standards, codes, department publications and specialty items that feature the distinctive symbols of Alberta.
A request made by a party to the original decision for the Appeals Commission to rehear any matter, order or decision made by it. See Appeal Rules, Part 5.
A decision-making body appointed to inquire into and make decisions on specific issues of review or appeal.
A documented choice on the part of the appellant not to proceed with the appeal or part of an appeal.
See Appeal Rules, Rule 2.9.