Sep 212018
 

By Gerald

I was invited by Dr. Chris Brigham who I have known for years to participate in this particular webinar which is the fourth webinar I have participated in by invitation from Dr. Brigham. This particular webinar was specifically to discuss the illegal use of impairment ratings as a direct method of rating a disability. This illegal method was used by all of the workers compensation systems in Canada until the courts in Alberta, Nova Scotia and the Yukon determined that using impairment ratings as a direct method of rating disability was not in compliance with the provincial workers compensation acts. Rather than addressing this, the workers compensation systems in Canada secretly went to a dual award system by providing a separate award for an impairment rating (NELP) and a separate award for an ELP to comply with the courts. However the provincial governments aided and abetted workers compensation systems to defraud workers whose disability ratings were determined based on the direct use of impairment ratings before going to a dual award system.

As noted in the webinar and agreed by the panelists, it is the governments who allowed this to happen. In Alberta, it was the Conservative Government who allowed this illegal practice and now the NDP Government are covering up for the Conservative Government and the Alberta WCB by not reopening these long standing claims where impairment ratings were used illegally as a direct method of rating disability. Obviously this constitutes criminal fraud and is why the Calgary Commercial Crimes Unit recommended criminal charges be laid against the Alberta WCB rather than having some one pursue civil action as recommended by the Senior Crown Prosecutor. It was the Senior Crown Prosecutor who refused to lay criminal charges most likely as directed by the Justice Minister.

This issue is going before the Alberta Court of Queens Bench via Judicial Review on Feb. 19 and 20, 2019 where Jason Bodnar (WCB Legal Counsel) and Dale Wispinski (Appeals Commission Legal Counsel) will attempt to convince a Judge that every one is wrong including Dr. Brigham, Bob Wilson, David Langham, Allan Pierce and Dr. Emily Spieler who also attended this webinar. Both legal counsel will attempt to convince a Judge that WCB was doing nothing wrong by using impairment ratings as a direct method of rating a disability. Most Judges do not have a clue that there is a difference between an impairment rating and a disability rating as was evidenced by a Lethbridge Judge on Judicial Review when this issue was brought before him by listening to WCB legal counsel who made a fool out of him.

This is a webinar that should be heard in its entirety.

In case you missed the webinar session, or in case you’d like to watch it again, here’s the link to the replay video:

Link : http://events.genndi.com/r/3/0/replay/169105139238449234/d506426a10/0/74197196
Room password : N/A

Webinar title : Impairing the Guides: The Legal Assault on the 6th Edition
Webinar description : The 6th Ed of the AMA Guides to Permanent Impairment have been under assault in US courts; Can they withstand the scrutiny? What comes next?

Webinar hosted by : Robert Wilson, David Langham, Alan Pierce, Dr. Christopher Brigham

Date : Thursday, 20 September 2018
Time : 01:00 pm Eastern Time (US and Canada), GMT -4

Aug 222018
 

By Donna

Case managers should not be in power without medical knowledge. Injured workers continue to be denied. WCB staff continues to break the law and WC Act and policies because they are not required to know them. They have been taught to deny and let the injured worker fight it out in appeal. Good luck injured workers – you will need it.

Alberta should seize Guy Kerr’s resignation from Alberta Workers Compensation Board as opportunity

Aug 182018
 

By Gerald

Edmonton Journal Article

Kerr leaves a legacy of broken homes, broken marriages, child and family poverty, suicides by workers who were cheated out of benefits they were entitled to. Most people have nothing but contempt for some one who like this who was at the head of an organization where it was determined that there was a culture of denial and successive governments, Conservatives and now the NDP have sat back and did nothing to fix a broken system that should be by all accounts be abolished.

We welcome your comments.

Aug 172018
 

By Donna

With title, did he get bought out ?and what is his pension? And did he leave his legacy to continue? The Culture of Denial at WCB. Employers and the public must keep in mind. The WCB review  panel found the case managers readily take the WCB medical consultants and paid WCB paper opinions over the treating medical specialists and medical evidence. We ask what else are the case managers and DRDRB personal suppose to do ? When having 100 percent power over the quality of life and medical care over injured workers when they do not have any medical knowledge or licence to determine an injured workers injuries. Typically taking a paper opinion over treating medical specialists and medical evidence because they don’t understand medicine or don’t trust the injured workers medical specialists. The staff at WCB don’t have to have medical knowledge or trust those operating in Alberta’s medical field. What are the qualifications to become a case manager and DRDRB staff member at WCB ? Has anyone with power asked this very important question? These staff members are given 100 percent power to make life and death altering decisions on an injured workers life? Nurses can’t make these decisions and they were forced to get medical training pay out of their own pocket.  Injured workers children know more and see more of their parents disabilities caused by work injuries then the WCB staff with 100 percent  power to deny sever injuries by accepting the paper opinion and disregarding medical evidence and rejecting treating specialists. But injured workers are welcome to appeal until they are dead broke or dead what ever comes first. Maybe in the future the WCB review panel could request this gets looked into and stopped in order to save life’s and give injured workers children a chance to have a life. Injured workers children work for free nursing their disabled parents work injuries 24 hours a day. This is the next generation to question why is this abuse allowed?

One of Alberta’s highest-paid public servants leaving post at WCB

Jun 212018
 

By Gerald

WCB policy 03-01 Part II Application 7 specific to chronic pain and chronic pain syndrome is broken down into two parts, one part of the policy is specific to chronic pain and the other part of the policy is specific to chronic pain syndrome. According to the policies and how they are interpreted by WCB, DRDRB and the Appeals Commission, workers diagnosed with chronic pain will not receive full compensation benefits as would other workers who are diagnosed with discernible organic diagnosis. Workers diagnosed with chronic pain may receive treatment only as per WCB policy, with no monetary benefits or any rehabilitation benefits. Clearly, this is discrimination. WCB policy 03-01 Part II Question 2 states in part: “WCB may consider treatment for chronic pain” but only if chronic pain has the prescribed characteristics found in question 2. WCB Policy 03-01 Part II Question 3 states in part; “chronic pain syndrome may be compensable” meaning that chronic pain syndrome is compensable ( Compensation is based on loss of earnings,  if a worker meets all the prescribed conditions as well as marked life disruption

If a worker is diagnosed with chronic pain syndrome, according to WCB policy, they will receive full compensation which would include monetary benefits and vocational rehabilitation which also results in discrimination against workers diagnosed with chronic pain who only receive treatment for chronic pain and is contrary to to Alberta Human Rights Legislation and Section 15.1 of the Charter. This is not rocket science and questions what convinced Smallwood and Mason to  dismiss my complaint despite being upheld by the Southern Regional Director (Pardeep Gundara), the Southern Regional Investigator, Shirleen McGovern( Lawyer) and the Director’s Legal Counsel, Jim Foster. Questionably is if WCB paid Mason and Smallwood to dismiss the complaint because the overwhelming cost of having to rehear all claims involving chronic pain and having to pay workers hundreds of millions of dollars in restitution along with interest for the benefits workers are supposed to be entitled to. The complaint was so simple that any moron should have been able to understand, yet Smallwood and Mason dismissed the complaint based on what they considered to be lack of prima facie evidence to support the complaint. Clearly if workers diagnosed with chronic pain  would only receive treatment, no monetary benefits, no vocational rehabilitation, they are not being treated equally but clearly being treated differently than other workers who received full monetary benefit.

As every one knows or should know, Section 56 of the WCA provides a lifelong pension for an impairment rating that WCB were using illegally as a direct method of rating a disability. That has been factually proven by the Alberta C of QB and the Alberta Court of Appeals, the courts in Nova Scotia and the Courts in the Yukon. This means that in order to be assessed a PPD in compliance with Section 56,  a worker must receive a PCI rating. If a worker does not receive a PCI rating, a worker would not be entitled to a PPD and life time pension meaning that all workers diagnosed with chronic pain would not receive a PCI rating, no PPD rating and no lifetime pension. PCI ratings are derived from the Alberta Guides and if the Alberta Guides are silent or deficient, then a physician in order to provide a PCI rating may use the AMA Guides latest edition. The Alberta Guides do not and and to this day never have provided a PCI rating for chronic pain which leaves only the AMA Guides that did not provide a PCI rating for chronic pain until 2007 when the AMA Guides 6th Edition were published. Questionably then if all workers must be assessed a PCI rating, what “Guides” did WCB use to assess a PCI rating prior to 2007.  Impairment ratings cannot fluctuate by any more than 10% which would mean that physicians had to have some sort of guidelines to ensure consistency. No one in WCB can answer this question as no one knows how they could have assessed a PCI rating without any “Guides” Further questioning is, “can foreign doctors who have no standings in Alberta or Canada determine on behalf of WCB what compensation workers in Alberta will receive. In my legal opinion, this would be illegal. No one at this time knows who provided the impairment ratings for the Alberta Guides and we know that American physicians provided impairment ratings for the AMA Guides meaning that foreign physician are in fact determining what benefits workers in Alberta would receive.

Worse yet because impairment ratings do not measure a workers ability to work, workers who were diagnosed with erectile dysfunctions, had difficulty reaching an orgasm, brushing their teeth, defecating, urinating prior to Jan 1, 1995 would receive up to a 15% PPD rating for the rest of their lives when WCB were illegally using impairment ratings as a direct method to determine a PPD rating and after Jan 1, 1995 would receive a 15% lump sum payment for a NELP as opposed to workers diagnosed with chronic pain who received nothing  but treatment  How then could Mason and Smallwood determine that workers diagnosed with chronic pain were being treated equally. Receiving no benefits other than treatment for chronic pain while other workers receive full benefits such as a loss of earnings, vocational rehabilitation and as well medical treatment would not be considered to be equal treatment.

Any one who claims that the administrative law system is far better than having claims heard in the courts has to have rocks in their head. Administrative law systems and adjudication by morons who have no training in medicine, no training in law, have no idea how to interpret legislation, regulations or WCB policy should not be adjudicating claims when no one has a clue what they are doing has no advantage over having claims heard in the courts under civil law. Administrative systems could work if we had a Justice Minister who was an expert in administrative law as it pertains to workers compensation, a minister in charge of WCB who knew the system inside out and a premier who also was an expert in administrative law as it pertains to workers compensation. Unfortunately this is not the case with all of the a fore named people having as much of a clue as the people adjudicating claims. If administrative law  was better why is it that claims that go back nearly 50 years are still being disputed and there are thousands of disputed claims with many workers simply giving up or committing suicide. The same crap that existed when the Conservative Government were in power is the same crap that will continue during the time the NDP Government is in power with very minor changes being made to a corrupt and badly managed system to the detriment of workers. Anything worth doing is worth doing right and if you cannot do it right, scrap the entire system, entitle workers to social services benefits and allow workers to sue the employer under the rules of civil procedure and not give workers the false sense of security that this is an inquiry based system and all they have to do is file a claim if they are injured and WCB will look after them. This is nothing more than a crock of shit and not realized by workers until they are injured, only to find they are on the outside looking in.

The whole system is convoluted and ambiguous with no one including the Office of the Ombudsman. I requested that the Office of the Ombudsman make this determination as to whether the system is an Inquiry system or an Adversarial system. The answer to this was that when a claim is filed, it is an Inquiry system and the burden of proof is on the “Board” It becomes an Adversarial system when a worker appeals the decision of the Case Manager  according to the Office of the Ombudsman. According to Justice Millar who presided over a Judicial Review which we won, the system is based on an Inquiry system and remains an Inquiry system throughout a claim. Question is, does any one really know how the system works. You would think that after over 100 years that the system would be a smooth running system rather than a system that no one can explain the purpose and philosophy of workers compensation and if it is even required being that the majority of workers wind up on Social Services or CPP Disability.