The purpose of this letter is to engage the Government and the WSIB in a conversation about their mistaken and harmful philosophy that “immediate” return to work, rather than “early and safe” return to work is always preferable. Injured workers, particularly the permanently disabled workers ONIWG represents, want to return to work as soon as they are able. However, this work must be safe, and the emphasis on “immediate” return to work can disrupt the healing process and lead to re-injury … Each case should be decided according to the individual injured workers’ situation and “time to heal” should be safeguarded officially by policy consistent with the “early and safe” return to work legislation and evidence-based research.
Time limits on appeals to decisions in workers’ compensation matters, first introduced into the system with Bill 99, have added unnecessary complexity that adversely affects injured workers’ access to justice. Meeting the multiple (and often short) time limits creates an unreasonable barrier for the average worker, especially those with modest education or for whom English is a second language, and proves a burdensome challenge even for experienced representatives.
Letter to the Premier regrets that the Board fails to look critically at the study and is ignoring the real message: why do only 48% of injured workers return to work after injury and replace over time their pre-injury earnings? Of the income losers, why do 9% (about 1500 people/families every year) replace only up to 25% of their pre-injury income? The study data goes only to 2008 – before the major changes made in claims adjudication from 2010 on. So what are injured workers’ wage losses under the current system?
Letter to the WSIB Chair protests the Consultation’s virtual dismissal of worker-side concerns submitted, with considerable time and effort, by injured worker groups, labour and advocates.
Clinic’s submission to the Standing Committee on Social Policy welcomes the assistance the presumptive amendment provides to first responders suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) but urges the government to also address more broadly the under-compensation of work-related mental health disabilities. Recommendations include removing restrictions that allow entitlement for traumatic but not chronic stress; expanding the list of occupations covered by the new presumption; and improving access to mental health services for the treatment needed and the diagnosis required for a claim to be allowed.
Letter to the Premier expresses the importance of choosing a fair minded Chair of the Workplace Safety and Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT), in an open process. The Tribunal was set up by Prof. Paul Weiler and it’s important to bear in mind the quality of person he recommended for heading what is the last bastion of justice and hope for injured workers.
Following up on the overwhelming response to the report “Prescription Over-ruled”, health professionals, workers, legal advocates and labour groups call for a full investigation by the Ontario Ombuds Office of the WSIB for systematic disregard of the medical advice provided by doctors treating injured workers, in favour of so-called “paper doctors” who have not met patients directly.
A forthright message to the Minister of Labour on just why injured workers are so angry, and feel so betrayed by government promises that the unfunded liability would not be solved on the backs of injured workers.
In their submission to Supreme Court case addressing issues of causation and Workers Compensation Appeals Tribunal jurisdiction, IAVGO and ONIWG argue that scientific certainty is not required (and in fact definitive scientific evidence on work-related causation rarely exists). Decisions must be made not by scientists, but by expert legal tribunals applying legal principles; they should be based on the best available evidence and the balance of probabilities standard established under workers’ compensation legislation, which states that in cases where the weight of disputed evidence is evenly balanced it should be decided in favour of the worker.
Letter to the Prime Minister asks the federal government to address a gap in the Canada Pension Plan by requiring workers’ compensation boards to make CPP contributions on behalf of those unable to because of workplace injury. As it currently stands, many injured workers receive a much reduced pension on turning 65. This particularly impacts women injured workers, their financial independence and empowerment.