Frequently Asked Questions


This page is intended to provide general information and is specific to the time when it is first issued. Please keep in mind that the LAT’s staff cannot provide you with legal advice.

If you wish to obtain legal advice, you should consult a person licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada (www.lsuc.on.ca).

General

What if I require French language or interpretation services?

If a party requires a case conference in French, a bilingual Case Management Officer and Adjudicator will be assigned to the case. Parties may submit an application or appeal in French and requests the proceeding to be conducted wholly or partly in French.

Interpretation services are also available upon request. Parties should provide as much notice as possible, in advance of a proceeding, to advise AABS if they require interpretation services.

Where do I go if I have a concern about my case?

Your first point of contact for case related concerns or inquiries is the Case Management Officer. You may contact them through AABS@ontario.ca.

To escalate your concerns please contact SLASTOinfo@ontario.ca.

Where can I find out more information about AABS adjudicators?

Adjudicative appointments are made by Order-in-Council. The Executive Chair provides a recommendation to the Minister, which is reviewed and brought forward as an appointment recommendation by the Minister to Cabinet. The public appointments process is facilitated by the Public Appointments Secretariat. Information about the appointment process and SLASTO’s membership can be found on their website here.

SLASTO posts position descriptions, core competencies and a code of conduct, which forms part of a Member Accountability Framework. These can be found under the Governance and Accountability tab

AABS does not provide parties with the name of the assigned adjudicator for a proceeding. This practice is in part to prevent against bias or adjudicator shopping by the parties. The AABS schedule is also constantly changing with matters settling and adjudicators may be reassigned as needed.

What if an order is not clear or has an error?

If an order is not clear, please raise it with your Case Management Officer.

According to Rule 17 of the LAT Common Rules of Practice, The Tribunal may review and correct typographical, calculation and other minor errors to clarify an order or decision.

Applications

What do I need to submit my application?

You will be asked to provide the following supporting materials as part of your application:

  • Contact information of the claimant (injured person), insurance company, and all representatives
  • Date and location of the motor vehicle accident
  • Details of the disputed benefit(s)
  • A list of documents you intend to rely on during the dispute resolution process (e.g. medical reports, surveillance evidence, tax returns, etc.)

Currently, parties can submit material electronically using the Electronic Attachment Transfer Service (EATS). This is a good resource to send confidential materials and documents between 10MB to 300MB in size. However, you can also submit your application with e-File.

What is e-File?

AABS e-File is a tool that allows parties to file materials electronically using an online form. e-File will make the submission process much more efficient, timely and cost effective, as the system is directly integrated into AABS case management system and parties can pay online.

To access e-File, click here.

What happens after I file an application?

The application will be reviewed for the following:

  • All required documents are complete;
  • All required processing fees are paid; and
  • Documents are received before the expiry of the time period required, in accordance with any applicable legislation.

In the case of an incomplete application, the Case Management Officer will issue a letter advising the applicant of missing information or materials. The applicant has 10 business days to submit outstanding materials.

What is a response request?

AABS will contact the respondent with a letter that asks the respondent to fill out the Response Form. This form requests the contact information of the respondent and/or their representative, and also asks that the respondent address the issues raised by the applicant. This form is due 14 days after the respondent was served with the AABS Claim, or within such other period as may be specified by the Tribunal.

Case Conferences

What is the purpose of a case conference?

Case conferences run by AABS provide an opportunity for parties to attempt to settle their cases and, if a settlement is not reached, AABS can direct how a hearing proceeds in a fair and timely manner.

When and where will the case conference be?

Case conferences usually take place within 45-60 days of the application being received.

The Case Management Officer will schedule a two hour case conference for the parties to meet with an adjudicator. The case conference will take place by telephone unless otherwise directed by the tribunal.

Can a case conference be held in other formats?

The format for case conferences is by telephone. However, in exceptional cases or where an accessibility accommodation is required, it may be held in person.

What must parties do to prepare for case conferences?

Parties must complete a Case Conference Summary to be submitted to AABS at least 10 days prior to a scheduled case conference. Requirements for the case conference summary can be found in section 20.4 of the LAT Common Rules of Practice.

Parties should come to a case conference prepared discuss settlement and attempt to resolve the issues in dispute. If the matter does not settle at the case conference then the adjudicator will schedule a hearing date and make any necessary orders in respect of witnesses and document production.

According to the Rules, it is mandatory that all parties attend or participate in the case conference. This means that claimants must attend even if they have a representative acting for them.

Will the case conference use caucusing?

SLASTO does not utilize a caucusing model (speaking to parties separately); rather all parties must be present during any conversation to ensure transparency.

Case Conference Outcomes

What are the possible outcomes after a case conference?

The goal of AABS is to help parties reach a resolution. However, there are multiple potential outcomes of a case conference:

  • Application is withdrawn by either party.
  • Settlement is reached.
  • Case conference is adjourned or rescheduled; OR
  • A hearing is scheduled and procedural orders are made.
Can an application be withdrawn without prejudice?

Applicants have the right to withdraw an application and reapply within 2 years of the date of the initial denial of their claim for benefits. However, they may be charged an additional filing fee when they reapply. To avoid unnecessary withdrawals we ask that parties only file an application when a case is ready to proceed with clear, concise and organized supporting documentation and come prepared to discuss a settlement or potential resolution.

Can a case conference or hearing be adjourned?

Adjournments are granted in limited circumstances.

A request for an adjournment of a case conference or hearing must be in writing, be served on the other parties, and shall include:

  • The reason for the request;
  • Written agreement to the adjournment from the other parties or their representatives, if given; and
  • At least three alternative dates, within 30 days of the case conference date or hearing date to be adjourned, that are agreeable to all parties.

Requests to adjourn Case Conferences and Hearings may be considered and granted based on other conditions.

How do I make a case conference or hearing adjournment request?

The first step is to contact the other party(s) to determine if they will consent to the request and if there are other dates that both parties can agree on. The next step is to fill out the Request for Adjournment Form, file it with AABS and serve the request on all parties.

As stated in Rule 16 (LAT Common Rules of Practice), the request must include the following information:

  • Detailed reasons for the request with supporting documentation;
  • Whether the other parties consent to the request and to the alternative dates; and
  • At least three mutually agreed upon alternative dates, within 30 days of the case conference date or hearing date to be adjourned.

Proceeding to a Hearing

When and how is the hearing held?

A hearing is only held if parties are not able to resolve the matter at the mandatory case conference.

The hearing dates are set by the case conference adjudicator in coordination with the parties

The Case Management Officer will send a Notice of Hearing to parties, which includes the date, time and location of the hearing. Generally, the date of the hearing will be within 60-90 days after the case conference.

At the start of the hearing the adjudicator may ask the parties if they are interested in attempting settlement discussions again.

After the end of a hearing, the hearing adjudicator will make a final decision about the case, which will be sent to the parties later as a written decision. The Tribunal’s decisions are legally binding and must be followed by both the claimant and the insurance company.

What hearing formats are available?

AABS hearings can happen in writing, electronically (by videoconference or teleconference), in-person, or by any combination of these methods.

The hearing format is determined on a case-by-case basis, by AABS at the case conference with input from parties. The parties have an opportunity to make submissions about the hearing format they prefer at the case conference.

If a party requires a hearing in French, a bilingual Case Management Officer and Adjudicator will be assigned to the case. The hearing can be conducted wholly or partly in French.

Interpretation services are also available upon request. Parties should provide as much notice as possible, in advance of a proceeding, to advise AABS if they require interpretation services.

What accommodations are available for a hearing?

Disability-related accommodation and accessible alternative formats can be provided upon request to access and use SLASTO services, websites and documents.

We are committed to continuously improving accessibility of the services we provide. Pursuant to the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005, the Safety, Licensing Appeals and Standards Tribunals Ontario (SLASTO) has developed its Multi-Year Accessibility Plan.

Decisions

How long after my hearing will I receive a decision?

The AABS adjudicator will usually not make a decision at the time of the hearing. The adjudicator will have around 90 days to consider everything he or she heard or read and make the decision. All decisions will be provided in writing to the parties.

How are decisions published?

Once decisions are rendered, they are formatted and released to the parties involved. Decisions are then published online to the Canadian Legal Information Institute (CanLII) website.

Does AABS reference or rely on Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) decisions when rendering decisions?

AABS can reference previous decisions from FSCO. However, it is important to note that FSCO’s decisions are not binding on the Tribunal.

Why are names anonymized in decisions?

Names in decisions are anonymized to protect the privacy of the individual and personal or medical information that may be included in the decision. This is consistent with the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act.

Costs

Can costs be awarded?

Yes, a Request for Costs can be made through the procedure set out in Rule 19 of the LAT Common Rules of Practice and Procedure.

A party can request costs in writing or orally at a case conference or hearing or at any time before the hearing decision is released or the file is withdrawn. AABS may require that the parties making the request submit their reasons for the request within seven days.

A Request for Costs should include the amount of costs the party is seeking.

A submission on costs must set out the reasons for the Request and the particulars of the other party’s conduct that are alleged to be unreasonable, frivolous, vexatious, or in bad faith.

If the Request is made in writing, the party must file a Notice of Motion form providing the particulars of the other party’s conduct that are alleged to be unreasonable, frivolous, vexatious, or in bad faith and the amount that is being requested.

Adjudicators can order all parties to participate in a process. Please refer to the cost awards section for more details.

How are the expenses and expenditures of AABS assessed?

Under Regulation 160/16, Assessment of Expenses and Expenditures – Statutory Accidents Benefits, the total cost of the LAT-AABS program is assessed to the insurance industry twice per year.

For inquiries about the regulation, please contact FSCO by calling 1-800-668-0128 or emailing contactcentre@fsco.gov.on.ca.

If an insurance company has not received their bill or has inquiries about a file, they may contact SLASTOinfo@ontario.ca.

Reconsiderations

What can I do if I disagree with a decision of the Tribunal?

A party can ask AABS to reconsider its decision within 21 days of the decision.

A request for reconsideration will not be granted unless the Executive Chair is satisfied that one or more of the following criteria are met:

  • The Tribunal acted outside its jurisdiction or violated the rules of natural justice or procedural fairness;
  • The Tribunal made a significant error of law or fact such that the Tribunal would likely have reached a different decision;
  • The Tribunal heard false or misleading evidence from a party or witness, which was discovered only after the hearing and would have affected the result; or
  • There is new evidence that could not have reasonably been obtained earlier and would have affected the result.

Requests will be considered by the Executive Chair of SLASTO (or delegate). Requests will not be granted without first giving the other side an opportunity to respond. ​

After granting a request, the Executive Chair may then make a decision based on submissions received on the issue or may order a rehearing of all or part of the case.​​

According to Rule 18 of the LAT Common Rules of Practice, the Executive Chair has the right to initiate a reconsideration of any decision without a request if it is within 21 days of the date of the decision.

Will the Tribunal provide reasons why reconsiderations are granted or denied?

Reconsiderations are published on CanLII and Carswell. Refer to the decisions section to learn more about CanLII.

Carswell is accessible through a paid subscription only.

Open Data

Can a party check their case status online?

There is currently no online system that allows parties to search for filed disputes or the status of cases.

Where can I find AABS operational statistics?

The Open Data Directive, led by the Ontario Public Service, requires that all data to be made public, unless it is exempt for legal, privacy, security, confidentiality or commercially-sensitive reasons within ministries and agencies alike.

You can access AABS operational statistics and performance measures through SLASTO’s Open Data Inventory found on our website.

Stakeholder Feedback

Will adjudicators speak at public engagements?

Associate Chairs are members of SLASTO’s senior leadership team and may participate in public engagements. In limited circumstances, a Vice Chair or Member may participate.

What other ways can stakeholders provide feedback?

Under the previous system at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), there were FSCO Forums and regular engagements between the users and the regulator.

As an independent tribunal, AABS does not have a role in policy and regulatory matters. For regulatory information pertaining to the Statutory Accident Benefits please contact the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. Questions regarding the legislative framework can be directed to the Ministry of Finance.

However, the Tribunal is always open to stakeholder feedback and we continue to keep communication channels open through SLASTOinfo@ontario.ca.