WCB Pensions

Course Materials - WCB Pensions

June 2018 WCB Advocacy Workshop

Presenter: Sarah O’Leary

This course will look at the law and policy covering WCB pensions, from plateau to determination of restrictions and limitations, from PFIs to assessment for loss of earnings. We will also cover appealing a pension decision, whether it be the amount of the PFI, loss of earnings assessments or whether the pension should be extended beyond age 65. We will review some of the important cases that have been made by WCAT and the courts. 

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Now is the Time to Remember what the Liberals did to WCB

March 2018 post

Now that we have an NDP government, our hopes are up that we will see some movement to a fairer system for injured workers. We witnessed the significant changes made by the NDP in the 1990’s. Then, were devastated to watch what the Liberals did to injured workers from 2001 on. With the exception of adding important cancer presumptions for firefighters (the result of effective lobbying by the IAFF), everything else was aimed at reducing costs, leaving injured workers worse off then ever.

It seems like a good time to cast an eye back over the dismantling of the compensation system over the last 17 years, to remind us just how bad the system is and why we need to pressure the NDP to undo the misery and heartlessness of the last two decades.

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Duty to Accommodate and the WCB

Course Materials - Duty to Accommodate and the WCB →

November 2017 WCB Advocacy Workshop

Presenters: Sarah O’Leary & Janet Patterson

The duty to accommodate applies to both employers and unions; both have to work towards providing an accommodation for an injured worker to allow him or her to continue to be a productive member of the workplace. What many WCB advocates don't realize is that, unlike Ontario, the duty to accommodate in BC is not found under the Workers' Compensation Act but under the Human Rights Code.

In this workshop we will discuss what obligations unions and employers have to injured workers, how to get the WCB involved, and what your obligations are when there is a conflict between collective agreement rights and the duty to accommodate.

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Occupational Disease: Schedule B Exposures

Course Materials - Occupational Disease: Schedule B Exposures →

November 2017 WCB Advocacy Workshop

Presenters: Janet Patterson & Iain Macdonald with Judith Lee

This workshop will focus on those occupational diseases (OD) identified in Schedule B, with the exception of ASTDs. There will be an overview of the scope of Schedule B and the building blocks for OD cases in general (diagnosis, exposure, causation, disability). We will then focus on particular issues which arise in two types of cases: respiratory diseases (asthma, asbestosis, etc.) There will also be a discussion of survivor benefits.

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Early Return to Work & Accommodation

Early RTW & D2A - Course Materials

WCB Advocacy Workshop - June 2015

Facilitators: Sarah O’Leary & Rolf Harrison

This workshop will look at what a worker should do when their employer’s offers light duties, what to do if the light duty offer is unsuitable, what the WCB should be doing, and if you end up having getting benefits denied, some strategies for appeal.

We will also look at accommodation, privacy rights and how much medical information the employer is or isn’t entitled to upon returning to work.

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Bullying and Harassment and Other Significant Stressors

Workers’ compensation paper - 2016 →

Prepared by Rolf Harrison & Niki Schnurr

The purpose of these materials is to share some notable comments from recent review and appeal decisions. The focus is on some of the recurring problems workers run into in initial claims adjudication.

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Hurt Your Back at Work? Here’s What You Should Know

Many of the appeals we do concern back injuries that either:

  1. Aren’t accepted as arising from the work accident or work activity;
  2. Were accepted for a strain/sprain and the WCB has told the worker that it has resolved, when it has not; or
  3. Is diagnosed as a strain/sprain when it is really something more.

These situations can be complex and very confusing but it is important to act quickly to deal with them as an unappealed decision letter can mean that you will have a tough time getting anything accepted in future.

I Will Never Get Injured on the Job, or Have to Deal With the WCB

If you believe that, well, good luck to you. We hope you never will. Nobody plans to get hurt at work: to have an accident, stumble while carrying equipment, get exposed to toxic gasses or suffer a psychological trauma that scars you for the rest of your life. But if you do have the misfortune to be hurt on the job or develop an occupational disease, you WILL have to deal with the WCB (aka WorkSafeBC although they have never legally changed their name.)

Psychological Injuries on the Job: Will You Qualify For Treatment?

Psychological injuries and illness are a leading cause of absences from work in Canada. The most obvious that may come to mind when you think about this is probably post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) which is the result of trauma. Most commonly we think of this illness affecting first-responders like firefighters, police, and ambulance paramedics. Certainly these folks pay a heavy price for putting themselves in the way of harm as part of their day-to-day job.

Insult to Injury

Adding Insult to Injury - Changes to the BC Workers’ Compensation System (2002 - 2008): The Impact on Injured Workers

A Summary Report to the BC Federation of Labour - 2009

Prepared by Stan Guenther, Janet Patterson & Sarah O’Leary

In 2002, major changes began to be made to the laws and policies that govern the workers’ compensation system in British Columbia. Those changes were initiated by the Liberal government after an aggressive lobbying effort by employers. The employer lobby advanced the inaccurate view that the system had become economically unsustainable. The resulting changes were based upon no discernable principle other than that of reducing costs for employers. In that regard, the changes were very successful. But these changes have come at a profound cost to workers and to the treatment and benefits that injured workers receive under the compensation system.

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