“Injured workers confront WSIB” – podcast (Ontario Today, Nov. 2, 2016)
CBC Radio’s noon call-in show, hosted by Rita Celli, continued its coverage of current issues regarding Ontario’s workers’ compensation system. WSIB President Tom Teahan responded to callers on the live show, speaking also to concerns voiced in last week’s program (“Has the WSIB let you down?”) about unfair and inappropriate use of the policy on pre-existing conditions to deny benefits.
Among other issues raised in this second show: why employer rates, despite recent increases, remain higher than in the 1990s; the WSIB’s approach to early return to work (“engagement” or harassment?); disentitlement through deeming; use of medical consultants and what value is given to treating doctors’ opinions; delays in appeals. While Mr Teahan emphasized that there are very few cheaters in the system, the program host noted many injured workers have spoken of their feelings of not being believed, that what was happening to them was regarded as somehow “not real enough” to qualify for benefits.
Answering a researcher’s query on safeguards against “policy creep” (such as injuries now being attributed to pre-existing conditions that would not have before), the WSIB President said the new Chief Operating Officer has been tasked with looking at adjudication to ensure policy is being applied appropriately …