Workers’ Comp is a Right (WCIAR)
In September 2017, the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Group (ONIWG) launched the Workers’ Comp is a Right campaign. The province-wide drive calls for a strong public workers’ compensation system that operates according to its founding principles.
- No cuts based on phantom jobs! (deeming).
- Listen to injured workers’ treating healthcare professionals.
- Stop cutting benefits based on “pre-existing conditions.”
Demand #1: No cuts based on phantom jobs.
Deeming, or determining, is when the WSIB pretends an injured worker has a job even when they don’t, and even when they’re unemployed. The WSIB then pretends the injured worker earns a salary at that non-existent job.
That imaginary salary is used as justification to cut that injured worker’s benefits.
Frequently, the WSIB deems injured workers to have these phantom jobs even when the worker is medically unable to work or actually obtain employment.
Demand #2: Listen to injured workers’ treating healthcare professionals.
The WSIB has a systemic problem: It regularly ignores medical evidence provided by both the doctors and health care providers of injured workers.
Often, the WSIB forces injured workers back to work despite health care professionals’ evidence that it is unsafe. The Board often denies treatment or medication prescribed by their doctors as well.
This puts workers at risk of re-injury, prolongs their recovery, and is really just another means of cutting benefits.
Demand #3: Stop cutting benefits based on “pre-existing conditions.”
** On December 15, 2017, the WSIB announced it would abolish its policy on pre-existing conditions and review about 4,500 cases where Injured Workers’ benefits were cut as a result of that policy
The WSIB’s common practice is to blame ongoing real injuries and disabilities on conditions it claims existed before the work injury.
Too often, these pre-existing conditions that the WSIB points to never actually affected the person until they were injured at work. In many cases, these injured workers had no previous diagnosis of any pre-existing condition nor any symptoms.
Yet the WSIB claims that the ‘real’ source of the injury was pre-existing and terminates the worker’s benefits.