Timely, Fair &
Independent



Terms We Use

A list of terms we often use, and what they mean.

 

Abbreviations

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
  • OAA – Office of the Appeals Advisor
  • 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

Workers' Compensation

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)

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 AC is an administrative tribunal, and its decision-making is independent of the Workers' Compensation Board.

Office of the Appeals Advisor (OAA)

A department of the WCB that offers injured workers information about the appeal process and represents injured workers. Appeals Advisors work independently from the WCB and there is no charge for their services.

 

Key people

Appeals Advisor

A WCB staff member (not an Appeals Commission employee) that offers injured workers advice, information and representation in the appeals process. There is no charge for the service of an Appeals Advisor.

 

Appeals Officer

An Appeals Commission staff member who reviews the claim file and compiles the related information into an Appeal Documents Package (ADP).

 

Appeals Secretary

The Appeals Secretary provides administrative support during the hearing, such as monitoring the recording equipment and making copies of documents if needed.

 

Intake Clerk

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.

 

Appellant

A party that requests an appeal.

 

Board of Directors

The governing body of 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 of the WCB, considers and approves annual operating and capital budgets of the WCB, and may enact by-laws 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.

 

Commissioner

An individual appointed by the Lieutenant Governor in Council who is a member of a hearing panel that hears and decides appeals.

 

Hearing Chair

A Commissioner who conducts hearings at the Appeals Commission and is a member of panels that hear and decide appeals.

 

Hearing panel

A group of Commissioners assigned to hear and decide an appeal. Most hearing panels consist of three Commissioners: one Hearing Chair and two other Commissioners.

 

Observer

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.

 

Ombudsman

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.

 

Party

A person with a direct interest in an appeal or any other person who has applied for and obtained party status.

 

Participant

A party who has expressed intention to participate in an appeal.

 

Representative

An agent, lawyer, Appeals Advisor or other representative authorized, in writing, to act on behalf of any person in a proceeding.

 

Respondent

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.

 

Witness

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 and based upon their expertise, such as doctors or engineers.

 

More appeal-related terms

Adjournment

Any postponement of an appeal, other than a withdrawal. See Adjournment Requests (Practice Guideline #2B).

 

Clarification

The AC has the ability to issue a document that corrects a minor typographical error in an issued decision, or provides explanation of information contained in an issued decision, or provides direction to the WCB regarding implementation of an AC decision.

 

These clarifications become part of a hearing panel's decision and must be read together with the original decision.

 

Decision

The written outcome of an appeal.

 

Deem

To consider in a specific way.

 

Dismissal

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.

 

Entitlement

The right to a specific benefit or award.

 

Issue

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. 

 

Jurisdiction

The exclusive authority to administer and apply legislation.

 

Medical Panel

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.

 

The medical panel consists of three specialist physicians, chosen for their expertise in dealing with the issues under review. The medical panel is administered by a medical panel commissioner who is responsible for the overall operation of the medical panel process. This commissioner is appointed by the Minister, and operates independently of WCB-Alberta (and whose independence is subject to review by the Auditor General).

 

Order-in-Council

An official proclamation signed by the Lieutenant Governor of Alberta appointing individuals as Appeals Commissioners for the Appeals Commission for Alberta Workers' Compensation.

 

Queen's Printer

The Alberta Queen'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.

 

Reconsideration

A request 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.

 

Tribunal

A decision-making body appointed to inquire into and make decisions on specific issues of review or appeal.

 

Withdrawal

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.

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