THE WSIB is sending out letters in early October to injured workers who wore a WSIB-approved back support or back corset and did not receive the full Clothing Allowance amount payable during the period from November 1, 1996 to January 3, 2006. They include a form to request a reconsideration of the decision. In cases where the worker is deceased, their next of kin may apply for a reconsideration by calling the WSIB directly at 1-800-387-0750.
This is a big step forward in recognizing injured workers whose clothing allowance was reduced in 1996. While a prolonged campaign was successful in having the full allowance restored in 2006, the right to receive retroactive benefits has also required sustained advocacy. In 2014 the WSIAT allowed an appeal in a test case dealing with five workers who had fought policy changes from the beginning, represented by IWC legal clinic. The decision however affected the 5 appellants only. Almost 5,000 injured workers have been waiting for the Board response on their lost benefits, supported by lobbying by legal clinics, labour and injured worker groups for payment of arrears. The WSIB’s new process on applying for a reconsideration aims to expedite the process.
Injured workers can call on legal clinics or their representatives for assistance with the forms.