Jul 242017
 

Points to ponder: Will there be justice? Justice can only happen when old claims denied on paid opinion and the case managers need for a bonus are re-opened . They must be reviewed and the wrongs made right. Laws created with jail time if found guilty of intentionally hurting people for greed.

Workers’ Comp Reclamation? Alberta Points the Way.

 

Jul 142017
 

By Gerald

According to the Meredith Principles, all workers compensation systems in Canada were to operate under the legal standard which was to be an Inquiry model, not an adversarial model, yet all decisions made by the WCB and the Appeals Commission are made under the adversarial model where the burden of proof is placed on the worker which is the civil standard. We now have more presumptive legislation that removes the burden of proof from some workers while placing the impossible burden of proof on other workers. 

Odd that in Manitoba, the Inquiry model places the burden of proof on the “Board” and it is stated;

V Principles of Adjudication 

Inquiry Model 

The WCB operates on an inquiry model, which means that the WCB must either prove or disprove a claim through investigation. It is not the responsibility of the worker to prove the claim, nor is it the responsibility of the employer to help prove or disprove a claim. There is no formal or legal burden of proof on any party but the WCB. The WCB is responsible for ensuring that there is sufficient information on which to base a decision. Workers, employers, and health-care providers are required to report to the WCB. The WCB then undertakes whatever additional inquiries are necessary to determine eligibility and compensation entitlement.

From the Osgoode Hall Law Journal it also states;

With regard to the burden of proof, workers’ compensation in Canada has always been different from common law proceedings. Our systems were established to work on an enquiry model, not an adversarial model. There is no burden of proof on anyone except the board. Since workers’ compensation was not to be adversarial, a rule was required for situations in which the evidence for and against employment causation is judged to be evenly balanced. In that situation, a common law regime would require that the claim be denied; but a more benevolent view was taken in workers’ compensation. It has commonly been provided that, where the evidence relating to the disputed probabilities is judged to be evenly balanced, the matter should be decided in favour of the claimant

This being the case why then in Alberta is the impossible burden of proof placed on workers?

Click on the following link; https://www.mykawartha.com/news-story/7421045-coalition-for-ge-workers-agrees-on-how-to-proceed-with-compensation-from-the-province/

Legislation providing presumptive status for some workers and not for others is obviously discrimination. Why is legislation not enacted to provide all workers with presumptive status and enact legislation that places the burden of proof on the Board to prove that work was not causally related to an injury or disease which is the most logical way of stopping some workers from collecting benefits while other workers claims are denied because of the impossible burden of proving causation when workers are financially incapable of funding studies to determine causation. This defies any logic or common sense when the “Board” has exclusive jurisdiction to investigate all matters and rather than place the burden of proof on the “Board” places the burden of proof on the worker. This is called administrative fairness. What the hell is wrong with our elected Governments to allow this.

Jul 142017
 

By Gerald

While there may be some disgruntled people with the findings and recommendations of the Review Panel, it is a step in the right direction. The credit for all of this goes to the NDP Government who rather than follow the Conservative Government’s inaction by not fixing the system even though the last review by Justice Friedman and Victor Doerkson determined that workers were getting the short end of the stick. 

It must be realized that workers have very little or no power to lobby Government for change as opposed to employers whose lobbying will entice Governments to enact legislation as a means to change the economics of a province by reducing benefits for workers and maintaining or reducing premiums for employers. Employers can reduce their premiums by ensuring that accidents don’t happen rather than to cut corners when it comes to safety. There are very few accidents that are not preventable but prevention costs money which affects an employers bottom line. 

I have some concerns with the WCA that still have not been addressed which is specific to the use of the word “may” in many sections of the WCA when the word may should be replaced by the word “shall”. I take exception to the fact that workers who have long standing claims are not having their claims re-adjudicated by an independent panel. I also take exception to the use of deeming which would not happen if workers were provided with suitable vocational assistance when it is obvious that they no longer able to be employed in the work they had made their living in prior to their injury. The WCA is at odds with deeming as the “Act is quite clear that any worker who is incapable of becoming gainfully employed is totally disabled. Gainful work is not imaginary work and paid by imaginary earnings. There are far too many disabled workers in Alberta being supported by Social Assistance Programs and as well as having their medical costs paid for also out of the public purse. This should be the next step that the NDP Government should do and that is to find out how many disabled workers are on Social Assistance and they number in the hundreds or thousands. Any surplus funds in the accident fund should go to the Provincial Government.

All in all, the Panel did a good job and it must be realized that it took decades for the self destruction of the system aided and abetted by the Conservative Government and if meaningful reviews were held on a regular basis of every three years, perhaps the system most likely function for the benefits of workers and not be used as an economic incentive by Provincial Governments to entice business to stay in Alberta or to entice businesses from other provinces to relocate to Alberta.

 
Jul 072017
 

The Government of Alberta has announced the WCB review recommendations. You can read them here. CIWAA would like to share your comments with the government, as there is still some disconnect of how many injured workers view the WCB.  Please read the review recommendations and comment on CIWAA’s open forum below, which will be sent to the government in September. Please make your comment and questions free of swear words/vulgar language so your voice can be heard.

Thank you:  CIWAA would like to thank Premiere Notley for her due diligence  in requesting a WCB review. 

Big thanks to the panel for their time and effort  and most importantly understanding and willingness to listen.
Thank you John Carpenter,  Pemme Cunliffe & Mia Norrie.

CIWAA encourages the  NDP government to delve into to day-to-day activities and govern operations at the WCB. Open up all long-term claims denied on bought opinion or when medical panel was used to deny eligibility.

If  criminal activity has been uncovered strictly for monetary gain that intentionally hurt/slandered or killed injured workers, punish those involved in a court of law. All within the WCB should include personnel from the top down as well as those doctors they consistently pay for opinions. 

CIWWA begs the NDP government on behalf of all injured workers their families  and taxpayers not to ignore the panels findings and the plight of injured workers. 

Injured workers deserve compensation for their injuries, period.

Granted, the government cannot give the injured workers the life they lost back, nor can they ease the pain and suffering. But the government can make the years they have left on earth  free of stress and financial worry. Prioritize accessible medical needs for injured workers.

Injured workers that passed on from their injuries and left their families in poverty and depression deserve the benefit their loved ones should have had in life. 

 
CIWAA asks very little for the injured worker who was hurt working in Alberta. 
May 012017
 

By Gerald

The article that I am sending is and should be very interesting to anyone with any intellectual capacity to understand the difference between the system in the U.S. as opposed to the system that is supposed to be in Canada.Of course like everything else workers are told, everything that the Government and WCB tells workers is a lie. In the U.S. the system is based on an Adversarial system (the worker or legal counsel has the burden of proof) which obviously requires Legal Counsel to represent workers. Lawyers representing workers in the U.S. only get paid if they win the case and if they win, they are paid disbursements and costs by the defendant which is the insurance company (WCB) who is acting on behalf of the employer.

In Canada, the historic agreement resulted in what is referred to as an Inquiry system where the burden of proof is supposed to be on WCB both for and against who are supposed to be a neutral party who has by statute the exclusive jurisdiction to gather the evidence thus placing the entire burden of proof, both for and against on WCB resulting in no burden of proof on either the worker or the employer. Being that WCB is supposed to be a neutral body who has exclusive jurisdiction to investigate and gather the evidence, there would be no need to have Legal Counsel, however what is supposed to be is not what is happening. Workers in Canada for some odd illegal reasoning being forced into an Adversarial system where workers have the entire burden of proof and having WCB and the Appeals Commission representing employers.

This becomes very evident especially in Judicial Reviews where a worker either represents themselves or has to incur significant debt to hire a lawyer. Both WCB Legal counsel and the Appeals Legal Counsel work together against the worker with both being paid out of the accident fund and if they lose, costs and disbursements are paid to the worker or Legal Counsel out of the accident fund as opposed to the worker who if they lose must pay their Legal Counsel and also must pay the costs and disbursements of both the WCB and the Appeals Commission. If witnesses are required, the cost of witnesses are borne entirely by a worker and if WCB and the Appeals Commission require witnesses, the cost is taken out of the accident fund. Seems that the Government believes this is a fair system but it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is not a fair system when a worker does not have a hope in hell of beating WCB and the Appeals Commission when their legal costs come out of their own pockets and WCB and the Appeals Commission’s costs come out of the accident fund that is funded by tax payers who subsidize the the accident fund by having to pay to support workers whose claims and benefits have been illegally denied. The Government must rethink the whole purpose of having workers compensation when workers have to fight for benefits that they are entitled to.

Click on the following link: http://clearwater.legalexaminer.com/workplace-injuries/workers-compensation-attorneys-fees-nope-its-the-benefits-dummy/

Apr 292017
 

By Gerald

Provincial and Federal Governments tax workers without questioning or taking responsibility for where our taxes go. We know from several studies provided in the U.S. that the majority of disabled workers in Canada are not funded by provincial worker compensation boards. At the Federal level taxpayer dollars are collected and put into CPP where the Federal Government then provides disability pensions for work related disabilities. Even worse is that 50% of the taxes collected by the Federal Government are paid for by workers and provincial WCB systems claw back 100% of the disability pensions to reduce or eliminate paying earning loss supplements.

At the Provincial level tax payers are forced to pay for medical benefits for disabled workers through Alberta Health Care. Added to this tax payers are forced to provide social service benefits for disabled workers. There has to be accountability of our elected Governments to pay to have studies as to how many millions of dollars of tax payer’s hard earned dollars are going to subsidize employers Alberta employers to enable Alberta to have the lowest premiums in North America other than North Dakota which has lower premiums than Alberta and worse yet is when billions of dollars paid to WCB by workers is returned to employers in the form of dividends while tax payers pay the majority of the benefits to care for disabled workers.

The NDP Government must fund a study to determine just how much of tax payers hard earned dollars both Federally and Provincially are used to subsidize employers as an economic incentive to employers to stay in Alberta to take advantage of lower premiums or to entice employers from other provinces to relocate because of lower premium costs which in reality, this economic advantage is paid for by tax payers with the majority of tax payers being workers and their families.

Apr 292017
 

By Gerald

The National Day of Mourning brings out a very important issue which is to make the system into what the original intent was and that is to look after disabled workers, not to lower premiums at the expense of workers by denying claims and benefits which is the method used by workers compensation boards and supported by provincial governments.

http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/mark-day-of-mourning-by-restoring-full-wsib-benefits-opseu-620772263.html

Apr 272017
 

By Gerald

The following news story was sent to me from an injured worker which is an interview with Mr. McGowan who very explicitly and accurately portrayed the Alberta WCB as being against workers and had been supported by the former Conservative Government who are anti-labour.
Click on the following link: http://alberta.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=1007748&binId=1.2002989&playlistPageNum=1

Mar 312017
 

By Gerald

Perhaps if our elected politicians would read this link presented by a lawyer in a video they would understand why the Calgary Commercial Crimes Unit supported filing criminal charges against WCB for equating an impairment rating to a disability rating resulting in criminal fraud. You also may find that the Alberta Court of Appeals in the Penny case also determined that an impairment rating cannot be used as a direct method of rating a disability. This is also supported by the Hayden decision in Nova Scotia and the decision by the Yukon Supreme Court, all determining the same thing. The in person hearing with the Appeals Commission on Nov. 8 and 9th of 2016 was specific to using an impairment rating of 20% and not converting the 20% PCI rating to a PPD which is the correct methodology when determining a permanent partial disability. The Appeals Commission still after nearly 5 months have not made a decision as to how they intend to cover up my appeal regarding this matter. A 20% PCI rating does not equate to a 20% PPD rating and WCB, the AC the WCB BoD, WCB Legal Services and WCB Medical Services have known this for over 20 years and covered this all up by changing WCB policy on Jan 1, 1995 by redefining the purpose of an impairment rating by using impairment ratings to provide a non economic loss rather than an economic loss that was used prior to Jan 1, 1995. Click on the following link where the lawyer presents all of this in an easy to understanding video https://iln.isba.org/blog/2017/03/28/quick-takes-your-practice-ama-impairment-ratings-workers-compensation-cases

Perhaps Ms. Ganley should go after the real criminals in Alberta who have criminally defrauded workers knowingly for over 20 years.

Mar 272017
 

By Gerald

Notably, the process of deeming came under attack during the WCB Review Panel’s meetings with the various groups. While the process of deeming workers to imaginary jobs is grossly illogical, it becomes even more illogical when a person understands how deeming is used to determine an earning loss such as an ELS or an ELP. Having been taught in grade school that apples must be compared to apples and oranges to oranges, WCB does not do this when it involves earning losses.

I shall explain. If a worker was injured and suffered a permanent disability and permanent work restrictions their pre-injury earnings on their DOA would be used as a reference to determine an earning loss by comparing pre-injury to post-injury earnings which is the correct method. However, when comparing pre-injury to post-injury earnings this must be done by comparing earnings in the year of the DOA. For example if a worker’s pre-injury earnings are $40,000.00  in 19991, an earning loss must be calculated using 1991 dollars either by using actual 1991 earnings or 1991 deemed earnings. You do not determine an earning loss by using 1991 dollars and compare post-injury actual or deemed earnings twenty or thirty years  later which is how WCB determines an earning loss. No worker would ever be entitled to an earning loss as evident by the fact that over time with higher earnings over the course of 20 or 30 years later and then comparing the higher earnings to considerably less earnings 20 or 30 years ago. This is grossly illogical and mathematically incorrect as you have to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges.