In some cases, WCAT can reconsider one of its decisions without making you go to court. WCAT can only reconsider a decision to correct a few very serious types of errors. These are often called “jurisdictional errors” or “jurisdictional defects”. The most common examples are:
- WCAT did something it had no power to do or refused to do something it was required to do. For example, if WCAT changed a different decision about your claim that you never even appealed to WCAT, that may be a jurisdictional error because WCAT has no power to do that.
- WCAT used an unfair process to decide your appeal. For example, if WCAT based its decision entirely on a doctor’s report you never even had a chance to see, this may make the process unfair.
You cannot ask WCAT to reconsider a decision just because you disagree with it. Even if WCAT made a very big mistake about the facts or the law, WCAT cannot change the decision. In these cases, you must apply for judicial review.
You can only ask WCAT to reconsider based on a jurisdictional error once per decision. There is no set time limit to apply for reconsideration, but if you wait a very long time it is possible that WCAT may refuse to reconsider the decision.
WCAT can also reconsider a decision if new evidence is found or becomes available after your hearing. You must show WCAT that:
- the evidence did not exist at the time of your hearing; or
- if the evidence did exist, that you could not have found it and sent it to WCAT even if you had tried reasonably hard to do so.
You must also show that the new evidence could change the outcome of your appeal. For example, if you see a new doctor after the hearing who gives a report showing that WCAT’s views about your condition are wrong, WCAT might agree to reconsider the decision.
You can only ask WCAT to reconsider a decision based on new evidence once per decision. There is no time limit to apply for reconsideration based on new evidence.
It is very important to remember that applying for reconsideration may not stop or reset your time limit to apply for judicial review. If you are considering judicial review, you should still apply for judicial review in BC Supreme Court no later than 60 days after WCAT made its original decision.