On Tuesday, Liberal MPP Laura Albanese introduced Bill 133, Workplace Safety and Insurance Act Amendment Act (Permanent Partial Disability Supplements), 2015. The Bill is intended to deal with a problem affecting older recipients with pre-1990 injuries by eliminating deductions of Old Age Security (OAS) pensions.
The Bill amends s.110 of the WSIA so that any pension a worker is eligible for under the Old Age Security Act does not reduce the worker’s permanent partial disability benefits for pre-1985 and pre-1989 injuries under the pre-1997 act. “If passed, this bill would end the second class status of some WSIB claimants injured prior to 1990 and correct the unfairness to this group of permanent disability pensioners, that have their workers’ compensation benefits reduced every year, by the same amount that Old Age Security benefit increases for inflation…”
The proposed amendment would provide financial relief to injured workers like 82-year old Antonio Mauro who under the current Act has his benefits, including the universal benefit Old Age Security, capped at approximately 90% of his 1970s salary. As detailed in the Toronto Star article, Mr Mauro hasn’t received 10 years of OAS cost-of-living increases because the WSIB claws them back.
At first reading in the Assembly, the MPP called the bill one of great symbolic significance. As noted in the Member for York_South Weston’s news release, this will be the 4th time the bill has been introduced in the Legislative Assembly – injured workers are hoping that this time they receive justice. The Bill will be debated in the Assembly on Thursday, Oct. 29th.