A moment of silence during the 2014 National Day of Mourning ceremony in Chatham-Kent.  (Photo by Ashton Patis)A moment of silence during the 2014 National Day of Mourning ceremony in Chatham-Kent. (Photo by Ashton Patis)

Tribunal Overturns Hundreds Of WSIB Decisions

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is being accused of cutting benefits to injured workers and trying to send them back to work prematurely.

The Industrial Accident Victims’ Group of Ontario says hundreds of decisions made by WSIB are being overturned because they run counter to medical evidence or were based on no evidence at all.

Brian Hogan, President of the Windsor and District Labour Council, says injured workers in the Chatham, Windsor and London area are also feeling the pressure to return to work quickly.

Hogan says the WSIB is no longer about the workers and just cares about profits.

"No one goes to work to get injured but they should know if they get injured that there's an organization that will take care of them.  They might as well be a Bay St company, they brag about their bottom line," says Hogan.

Hundreds of cases were overturned at the WSIB Appeals Tribunal in 2016 because the provincial agency failed to either follow doctors' advice or decisions were made without any evidence or adequate evidence.

The WSIB is reporting 2016 was a year with improved outcomes for injured workers and strong financial results.

  • 92% of injured workers returned to work at 100% of their pre-injury earnings within 12 months of their injury;
  • In 2016, there was a 13% decline in new appeals compared to 2015. We also continued to resolve appeals in a timely way with 90% resolved within six months, a 3% increase from the 2015 level; and
  • In 2016, 84% of those who completed their work transition plans found employment, more than in any year since the program began in 2013.
  • In 2016, we reduced the unfunded liability (UFL) on a Sufficiency Ratio basis to $4 billion corresponding to a Sufficiency Ratio of 87.4%. This comes after the UFL reached a high of $14.2 billion in 2011. This is well ahead of the legislated timeline to eliminate the UFL.
Hogan says the system is rigged and no longer fair for workers.

"Their bottom line should fluctuate.  If there's a lot of people injured, therefore there's lots of pay-outs and until that person's doctor believes they're well then you keep paying out.  That's why we all pay into it.  It's an insurance and that's why WSIB came about," Hogan says.

Hogan says too many injured workers are getting cut off.

"We really need this government and this WSIB board to change direction.  No they shouldn't be about Bay St, they should about each worker in every region and in particular caring about our region right here," says Hogan.

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