Review of an adjudicator’s decision

You and the Government of Canada both have the right to request a review of an adjudicator’s decision. A review can be requested for only the following reasons:

  • Palpable and overriding error. A review can be requested if the decision contains a clear and telling error.
  • Improper application of the IAP model to the facts as found by the adjudicator. A review can be requested if the adjudicator correctly understood the evidence, but the decision does not follow the IAP rules.

The reasons for requesting a review deal with the technical and legal aspects of the IAP. As such, it is important to consider hiring a lawyer to assist with the review. You can hire a lawyer at any point in the process, including the review stage.

Instructions on how to request a review will be written in the cover letter for the decision. The parties must provide a written statement and send it to the office of the Chief Adjudicator within 30 days of receiving the decision. This statement describes the reasons why the decision is wrong. It must not exceed 1,500 words. If you need more than 30 days to prepare the statement, you can request an extension through the Chief Adjudicator’s Office.

When one party submits a written statement to the Chief Adjudicator’s Office, the other party will be notified. The other party will have 30 days to submit a response. Once the response is received, the Chief Adjudicator will assign another adjudicator to the claim. This person is known as the reviewing adjudicator. This reviewing adjudicator will begin the review. No new evidence is allowed during the review, so there will not be a new hearing or teleconference. Instead, the reviewing adjudicator will conduct a paper review of the claim, which includes reading all of the claimant’s documents and a transcript of the hearing. Afterward, the reviewing adjudicator will write a new decision, known as a review decision.

The review decision will be sent to the parties and it will either: uphold the original decision, change the original decision, or order a new hearing. If the review decision is to uphold the original decision or order a new hearing, the Review Decision is final. However, if the reviewing adjudicator changes the original decision, the parties can request a re-review. If a re-review is available, the review decision’s cover letter will have information on how to request it.

There are reasons why some claims can result in no compensation. Legal tests need to be met, a claimant’s testimony needs to have enough detail to allow the adjudicator to award compensation, plus there are standards of proof that need to be satisfied. When a claim is not successful, one or more of these criteria have not been met. It is important that claimants consider hiring a lawyer to ensure they have the best possible chance for their claims to be successful.

Fact Sheet: Asking for an IAP Decision Review