What Can You Do?
It seems grim. The current Workers’ Compensation system is not adequate or fair for Injured Workers.
But ONIWG will not allow injured workers to be discouraged or ignored. People who are injured or made ill on the job have the right to dignity and respect. They have the right to compensation benefits for their work injuries. UFCW Locals 175 & 633, as well as the Ontario Federation of Labour (OFL), and other compensation advocacy groups across Ontario endorse and support the Workers’ Comp is a Right campaign and its demands.
TAKE ACTION on behalf of injured workers:
- Collect signatures on the Injured Workers Online petition to the legislature.
- Contact your Member of Provincial Parliament (MPP) to let them know you support ONWIG’s demands
- Follow ONIWG on Facebook and Twitter, and use the hashtag #WorkersCompIsARight in all of your communications.
For more information visit the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Group (ONIWG) website.
The WSIB uses cutbacks and austerity aggressively in a market-based approach to compensation. This benefits employers because it keeps costs low, and it forces injured workers into poverty because it keeps compensation to a minimum.
The WSIB’s excuse for benefit reductions is that ‘more injured workers are recovering faster and getting back to work.’ Compensation Reps and advocates know that this is not true. Severe conditions and permanent impairments don’t magically disappear.
Injured workers experience high rates of poverty as a direct result of the aggressive adjudication of their claims.
In 2022, the WSIB had a sudden ‘surplus’ which the Ontario government allowed the WSIB to return to – you guessed it – employers. At the same time, the WSIB has reduced premiums for employers over the last few years.
Ultimately, the WSIB claims that it’s reducing its unfunded liability and putting workers back on the job. But, the reality is that the WSIB is saving money through claw-backs to benefits which offloads costs on to public systems. This is particularly troubling since WSIB funding comes entirely from employer premiums and the Board’s investments.
By reducing, ignoring and denying entitlement and ongoing health care benefits, more injured workers must seek support elsewhere. Workers turn to publicly funded systems such as Ontario Works, Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP), and Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD). And when it comes to CPPD, the system penalizes workers even further. Once they get to the age of 65 and WSIB cuts them off from all benefits, the workers have little more than a reduced – or non-existent – public pension.