In a recent article in social justice newspaper Tough Times, injured worker activist Catherine Fenech addresses the myth that continues to stigmatize: the misplaced idea that injured workers are somehow faking injuries to take advantage of “generous” workers’ compensation benefits.
She asks if 2020 will finally be the year that the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) gets rid of deeming, a practice based on the worst stereotypes of injured workers which assume that they are lazy and don’t want to work. “Because of deeming, injured workers who are unable to get a job live in poverty on meagre benefits, which can be even lower than social assistance rates. Some end up on social assistance but others receive just enough from WSIB that they are excluded from receiving any top up from social assistance. The one thing that is certain is that deeming unfairly causes poverty for injured workers….. ” In 2019 Wayne Gate introduced Bill 119 to eliminate deeming – call on your MPP to support this Bill when it comes up for second reading in the Legislature. [Read full article]
Connecting injured workers
President of the Peel Injured Workers group and regional VP of the Ontario Network of Injured Workers Groups (ONIWG), Catherine reminds all that as well as sharing information on navigating and improving the workers’ compensation system, injured worker support groups play another very important role – that of letting injured workers know “that they are not alone and that others out there know what your are going through.”
While group meetings are temporarily on hold because of COVID-19, many connect to injured workers also through social media. Check out ONIWG Facebook, public discussion and Twitter and links to other injured worker groups. (Note: To protect member privacy, some groups require a sign up)