To 65 or Back to the (Drawing) Board? To Be Determined

  • October 16, 2023
  • John Bartolomeo, lawyer/co-director, Workers' Health and Safety Legal Clinic

WSIAT Decision No. 243/21R has reconsidered the extent to which the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (“the Tribunal”) can order benefits when allowing a worker’s appeal.  Normally, the Tribunal returns the extent of ongoing benefits back to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (“the Board”) for adjudication.  Instead of remitting that question back to the Board, WSIAT Decision No. 243/21 ordered benefits to age 65.  While the Tribunal has jurisdiction over final decisions of the Board, the question as to how far the Tribunal can or should go in light of the decision under appeal will soon be addressed following this decision. 

According to the original decision, the worker was struck in the face on April 7, 2016.  The claim was allowed.  She was diagnosed with a concussion and would later be found to have a mild traumatic brain injury/post-concussion syndrome.  Loss of Earnings benefits were allowed for lost time in April and June 2016 and she returned to modified duties.  A full recovery was expected by December 2, 2016.  The worker stopped working as of October 17, 2016.  The Appeals Resolution Officer found the worker stopped working not because of the injury but because of non-compensable psychiatric reasons.