Unfortunately, in Alberta we do not have the choice to vote in people with integrity who would enact laws to fine doctors who provide false medical opinions and decision makers who unnecessarily delay claims.
Unfortunately, in Alberta we do not have the choice to vote in people with integrity who would enact laws to fine doctors who provide false medical opinions and decision makers who unnecessarily delay claims.
Note from Gerald: I have been privileged to attend a number of webinars with Judge Langham as a very informed guest and attended by numerous doctors and lawyers, all experts in the workers compensation system. Most agree that the grand bargain is no longer a bargain for workers and has not been for quite some time. Several years ago I referred to to the workers compensation systems as being an antiquated system that does not work in the modern world and this verifies what I said years ago. The people we elect for public office are not visionaries that can envision a modern day approach to how the system should work for the benefit of workers and employers. Obviously the biggest problem with the antiquated system is determining causation. When workers compensation was forced onto workers by Government without any checks or balances, compensation was specific to acute injuries which had an obvious causal relation as opposed to hundreds or thousands of diagnosed work related injuries, disease and mental illnesses in the modern world that are denied based on unqualified doctors who provide false and misleading medical opinions that are reviewed by unqualified adjudicators who determine whose medical opinion is more compelling.
Workers compensation has to be the worst disability insurance that a worker would ever be exposed to. This is a system that destroys families, causes suicides.I have yet to talk to any worker that has not said that if they believed if they could get away with it, they would kill the people that ruined their lives. A modern day system would completely eliminate causation and provide disability insurance without establishing a cause being that no one can ascertain what risk factors are present in the work environment. I have yet to review a claim where it did not involve 15-20 doctors or more with none of them being experts as causation is determined by science not by guessing the cause. Unfortunately even medical science is wrong more times than they are right.
Judge Langham is bang on that our politicians have created a two tier system where firefighters are treated differently than other occupations without any evidence to support that firefighters are any more at risk for cancers and heart attacks than any other occupation. Epidemiological studies determining risk was based on reference to the general population which according to the National Academy of Science is not a valid reference. If an epidemiological study were to take any occupational group and reference that occupational group to the general population many occupational groups would have a much higher risk factor than firefighters for cancer or heart attacks. Assembly line workers for example who perform repetitive high force work have 10 times the risk as a firefighter specific to musculoskeletal disorders, yet there is no legislation providing presumptive status to assembly line workers for musculoskeletal disorders. A recent study has determined that driving heavy machinery such as tractors, combines, large trucks results in vibration that causes back injuries, yet there is no presumptive status for truckers, farm workers for back injuries. Studies have also determined that heavy manual work over the years contributes to degenerative disc disease and yet DDD is not presumed to be contributed to by years of heavy manual work. Farm workers who use pesticides, herbicides and insecticides on a regular basis have a much higher risk than fire fighters especially now that Roundup has been determined to be a dangerous carcinogen. It is about time that our politicians brought in a system that protects workers and stops punishing them for injuries or diseases that they had no control over.
The modern system I would envision would be a system that would guarantee acceptance of a claim by not including causation which would reduce costs by at least 50% or more especially the medical component that would reduce or totally eliminate doctors who do not have a doctor patient relationship, have no duty of care, have no responsibility for their medical opinion, can be subpoenaed but never are and cannot be sued for providing false and misleading medical opinions.
Workers’ compensation cancer presumptions are not new. This blog has addressed the topic some with Cancer Presumptions for Firefighters (2014), Firefighters Seek to Change Cancer(2016), and Cancer Presumption in Australia (2016).
There is a bill introduced to bring a cancer compensation process to Florida. Senate Bill 426(“SB426”) would define “cancer” to include the specific maladies of “Bladder cancer, Brain cancer, Breast cancer, Cervical cancer, Colon cancer, Esophageal cancer, Invasive skin cancer, Kidney cancer, Large intestinal cancer, Lung cancer, Malignant melanoma, Mesothelioma, Multiple myeloma, Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, Oral cavity and pharynx cancer, Ovarian cancer, Prostate cancer, Rectal cancer, Stomach cancer, Testicular cancer, (and) Thyroid cancer.”There are those who are referring to this as a “cancer presumption,” but that may not be an accurate description. This bill does not interact with Florida workers’ compensation, but is instead “an alternative to pursuing workers’ compensation benefits under chapter 440.” It is available if a firefighter (or former firefighter for up to 10 years) is diagnosed with cancer and
“has been employed by his or her employer for at least 5 continuous years, has not used tobacco products for at least the preceding 5 years, and has not been employed in any other position in the preceding 5 years which is proven to create a higher risk for any cancer.”
This is not an entirely new subject. Several states have workers’ compensation firefighter cancer presumption laws. According to Pennsylvania Judge David Torrey, thirty-three states have addressed firefighter cancer in some way.Meanwhile, officials in Ontario, Canada are analyzing work cancer claims in a more holistic and inclusive manner. The “director of the Occupational Cancer Research Centre at Cancer Care Ontario” has undertaken to study “workplace-related cancer for the Ministry of Labour.” TheRecord.com suggests that cancer claims are “a contentious issue today.” It notes that more “than a century ago” workers compensation laws were enacted, and their effect is a prohibition on employee lawsuits against their employers.The Research Centre Director contends that workers’ compensation was not designed for the modern world. He claims that it is structured based upon knowledge founded “in an era long before occupational disease was understood.” Therefore, he advocates that workers’ compensation needs to “to adapt to the hazards” to which people are exposed at work. He opines that the various jurisdictions’ systems have not evolved in parallel with medical science.TheRecord.com sees an example of this in “former rubber workers.” It notes that some of these have unsuccessfully sought workers’ compensation benefits “for cancer and other diseases,” only to suffer “long delays, road blocks and frustration.” The Director contends that compensation for such disease “should not be an adversarial situation.” Instead, compensation “should be a right to people.” TheRecord.com says that the research the Director is performing will be used by province officials to reconsider rubber workers’ claims for occupational disease between 2002 and 2017.In some cases, the evidence around specific workplace carcinogens isn’t new at all, but the compensation system has still struggled to adequately respond to the problems it causes for workers, he said. He contends that “our knowledge of what causes cancer at work improves every year,” and that this body of evidence to which he refers might be used to support claims for cancer or other occupational disease.The Director “believes the majority of occupational diseases are never reported.” Despite that, the story says that in an eleven year period, the province workers’ compensation system “allowed about 125,000 occupational disease claims which totaled more than $950 million in benefit costs.” Thus, almost a billion dollars (presumably Canadian dollars, which would convert to about $717 billion U.S.). But TheRecord says “that’s just scratching the surface of the problem.”The publication and the Director seem to be advocating for physician education in order that such allegedly work-related conditions are diagnosed as being work-related. Secondarily, there seems to be advocacy of a claims process that is geared toward compensating more such claims after they are “assessed based on the latest science.” There is no description provided of what this science is, however. Perhaps that will all become more clear after the next year of the Canadian study. A recent Canada British Columbia news story draws comparisons between firefighters and other employees.In the mean time, Florida will not be alone in a legislative discussion of cancer this year. WorkCompCentral reported recently that Montana is considering a sweeping presumption bill for firefighters. It reportedly “lists a dozen conditions that would be presumed compensable when diagnosed after a specific period of employment.” This bill also addresses cardiovascular disease.The same day, WorkCompCentral reported that Maryland is considering a bill to expand its firefighter cancer presumption. This would “add bladder, kidney or renal cell cancer to the list of diseases presumed to be compensable for firefighters.” The article notes Maryland presumptions already “include throat and lung (cancer) because of the smoke conditions.”And, Texas is reportedly considering legislation to clarify its firefighter presumption law. WorkCompCentral reports that the law is considered “murky.” According to the story, “insurers say (the law) limits firefighters to just three types of malignancies, but fire workers say already includes most types of cancer.” Employees are seeking better enforcement of compensability decisions, and employers are seeking clarity of the law’s scope.Recently, a California jury awarded $29 million to a woman for cancer it related to the use of baby powder. The American Cancer Society notes that some talcum powder contains asbestos, and warns that inhaling asbestos-laced powder can cause cancer. Its’ website is more circumspect regarding talcum powder and cancer: “The evidence about asbestos-free talc is less clear.” Thus, there seems some potential for debate regarding this causative link.The Environmental Protection Agency has recently banned the sale of Methylene Chloride, according to WebMD. It notes that this chemical compound can cause carbon monoxide poisoning, and “over the long term it increases the risk of cancer.” Despite those warnings, the EPA ban only affects consumer purchasing. The chemical will still be obtainable for commercial applications. It is estimated that some “32,000 workers use methylene chloride at work. New Jersey attorney Jon Gelman has addressed this substance in his blog.Back in California, The Telegraph reports Bayer (which purchased Monsanto in 2015) was found responsible by a jury that concluded “glyphosate-based weed killer Roundup caused non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.” Notably, the plaintiff had “sprayed the herbicide on his property for decades.” According to the Chicago Tribune, there is disagreement about glyphosphate. On one hand “Monsanto says studies have established that Roundup’s active ingredient, glyphosate, is safe,” and “many government regulators have rejected a link between cancer and glyphosate.”
The manufacturer claims that “hundreds of studies have established that the chemical is safe.” However, the jury concluded otherwise, finding “using Roundup was a significant factor in his cancer.” The recent trial there was in federal court, suggesting that the science that was presented by both plaintiff and defense was subject to the Daubert standard discussed in Dissing Daubert, Daubert Better Explained, and Daubert, We Barely Knew Ye.Thus, there are questions about what does and does not cause cancer, causation issues. There may be issues as to how long after some exposure cancer will appear, latency issues. There may be occupations in which exposure to various chemicals and compounds is more or less likely. There may be variables such as the degree of exposure, intensity of exposure, use of safety equipment, and more. In total, there may be more questions about cancer than answers.The legislative efforts seem focused only upon firefighters, and yet a great many questions appear unanswered. Is there justification in tiered recovery systems that treat some workers differently than others? Is there recent science, as suggested by the Ontario Director, that antiquates existing workers’ compensation decision making? If so, where is that science? So many questions.
Office of the Ombudsman
801- 6th Ave SW
Feb. 26, 2019
On behalf of Mr. Smith, I Gerald Miller wish to file a complaint against the WCB Board of Directors that has resulted in defrauding both workers and employers out of millions of dollars due to an inappropriate enactment of policy either by ignorance, misfeasance, abuse of power or an act of bad faith.
Compensation in workers compensation is supposed to be determined based on the difference between pre-injury earnings and post-injury earnings to determine a loss of earnings. Prior to Jan 1, 1995, loss of earnings was determined by using impairment ratings as a direct method of rating a loss of earnings which was found to be illegal by three different courts in three different provinces, Alberta (Penny case), Nova Scotia (Hayden case) and the Yukon, yet because of the WCB BOD enactment of policy specifying that loss of earnings was to be determined by the direct use of impairment ratings in assessing loss of earnings prior to Jan 1, 1995 this has resulted in defrauding employers and workers out of millions of dollars.
There is also the possibility that policy enacted by the WCB BOD did not direct that impairment ratings be used as a direct method of determining an earning loss. There is nothing in policy or the WCA that directs that impairment ratings be used directly as a method of rating a disability (earning loss) or that loss of earnings is derived by multiplying an impairment rating by net earnings to determine a loss of earnings so how or why did this happen. Conclusive proof that impairment ratings have nothing to do with a disability (loss of earnings) is supported by the fact that prior to one second before midnight of Jan 1, 1995 impairment ratings were used to determine an economic loss by multiplying net earnings by an impairment rating and one second after midnight of Jan 1, 1995, impairment ratings were used to determine a non economic loss questioning the mentality of the people interpreting how an economic loss (loss of earnings) should be calculated.
On review of WCB Policy 04-04 Part I it states in part; WCB provides permanent disability benefits to the worker for any measurable permanent clinical impairment “AND” for any impairment of earning capacity meaning that there are two awards referred to as dual awards. Proceeding onward, the policy then states; a worker is considered to have a permanent disability when a work injury results in a permanent clinical impairment, an impairment of earning capacity due to permanent compensable work restrictions or “BOTH” Reading to this point, there is no mention of multiplying net earnings times an impairment rating. Reading further. When an accident occurred before Jan 1, 1995 WCB provides the following permanent disability benefits: a permanent disability award in the form of a pension, to compensate the worker for the permanent clinical impairment “AND” assumed loss of earnings which results in two awards, one award is a pension for the permanent clinical impairment and another award for an assumed loss of earnings. On further analysis, there is nothing to indicate that net earnings have to be multiplied by an impairment rating to determine a loss of earnings, although upon further analysis of Policy 04-04 Part II Application 5, Question 1 and 2 which upon analysis does attempt to explain how an earning loss is calculated by using impairment ratings but confuse the issue by equating a disability(loss of earnings to an impairment. You cannot call a disability an impairment or an impairment a disability any more than you can call a cat a dog or a dog a cat as both words are totally different. Regardless of how the BOD or WCB attempt o explain how to assess a loss of earnings, you cannot determine a loss of earnings by multiplying 90% of net earnings by an impairment rating unless the impairment rating was converted to a disability rating and then multiplying the disability rating by 90% of net earnings. For example if a worker was assessed a 20% PCI rating, this would have to be converted to a disability rating by factoring in each individuals unique characteristics such as their skills, education, job history,adaptability, age, environmental requirements and modifications. In other words you cannot equate an impairment rating to a disability rating without taking all the factors of an individual that are unique to the individual into consideration.
Impairment ratings have no correlation to earnings at all as an impairment rating excludes work as a component in the assessment of an impairment. Impairment ratings measure a workers ability to perform simple basic activities of daily living which are presented in Table 1-2 of the AMA Guides. Impairment ratings are assessed based on such medical conditions that involve minor difficulties in urinating, defecating, brushing teeth, eating getting an erection, ejaculating, orgasm, sleeping etc., which has got nothing to do with work or calculating an earning loss. Clearly using impairment ratings as a direct method of determining an earning loss questions the mentality of the WCB BOD and the people who adjudicate claims who obviously never did question how or why impairment ratings could be used when an impairment rating had nothing to do with work, a disability or loss of earnings. Note: there is nothing in the WCA that directs that WCB pay lifetime pensions for an impairment. The WCA does direct that WCB pay lifetime pensions based on a disability (loss of earnings) In fact, prior to 2018, there was no legislative requirement for WCB to pay any award for an impairment as that remained discretionary prior to 2018. Obviously if you multiply a PCI percentage rating times any numerical figure, the result would be equal to an impairment award not a disability (loss of earnings) award. You do not multiply apples times oranges and expect to get a banana.
On Feb.20, 2019, I attended and represented Mr. Smith on Judicial Review which was specific to the illegal use of impairment ratings being used as a direct method of rating a loss of earnings. It was acknowledged by the Court, WCB Legal Counsel and the Appeals Commission Legal Counsel that doing so was not in compliance with the WCA and contrary to the directives of the AMA Guides that specified that the AMA Guides cannot be used as a direct method of determining a loss of earnings. The AMA Guides are very specific and states per verbatim;
Impairment percentages derived from the “Guides” criteria should not be used as direct estimates of disability. Impairment percentages estimate the extent of the impairment on whole person functioning and account for basic activities of daily living, not including work. The complexity of work activities requires individual analysis. Impairment assessment is the necessary first step for determining disability.
It was agreed that the blame for the fraud was the WCB BOD and according to the WCA Section 6(a)(i) the WCB BOD has jurisdiction to enact policy determining compensation, thus adjudicators were forced by statute to support defrauding workers and employers. This then leaves only the Government who can direct that the WCB BOD rescind their pre Jan. 1, 1995 policy where impairment ratings were used illegally to determine an earning loss, re-adjudicate all claims prior to this date basing a loss of earnings on calculating pre-injury to post-injury earnings. Not doing anything would bring the administration of justice into disrepute.
Despite the directive of the AMA Guides, the WCB BOD enacted policy that resulted in using impairment ratings as a direct method of rating a disability that has resulted in criminal fraud as determined by the Calgary Commercial Crimes Unit after investigation into the illegal use of the impairment ratings being used as a direct method of rating a loss of earnings.
Being that this is a systemic problem, I have advised other workers to also file complaints. According to Section 27 of the WCA, the Ombudsman after an investigation can recommend to the Government that an injustice or hardship to a worker or workers has resulted and it most certainly has, the Government may direct the “Board” to pay the worker or workers from the accident fund or refer the matter to the Court of Queens Bench for an assessment of damages and to pay the worker or workers the amount of damages assessed.
An example of how the inappropriate or illegal use of using impairment ratings as a direct method of rating a loss of earnings resulted in defrauding workers was presented in the Judicial Review based on defrauding Mr. Smith entitlement to compensation using impairment ratings as a direct method of rating a loss of earnings.
In 1988, Mr. Smiths pre-injury gross earnings were $18,469.02 . Referring to Appendix E of WCB policies, 90% of his net earnings according to Appendix E would be approximately $14,376.20. Because he was unable to work (total disability) he would have had zero earnings which should have resulted in a life time pension of $14,376.20 annually. By using impairment ratings (20% impairment rating) as a direct method of rating a loss of earnings rather than basing his pension on pre-injury earnings to post injury earnings, Mr. Smith inappropriately received $2875.24 net a year based on multiplying $14,376.20 by 20% resulting in defrauding Mr. Smith of $11,500.96 net annually from 1988 onward.
By using impairment ratings as a direct method of rating an earning loss, if a worker did not receive an impairment rating and had a total loss of earnings or a partial loss of earnings, a worker would not receive a lifetime pension as legislated in WCA Section 56 (11). (WCB defines a disability in terms of a loss of earnings) Using common sense and logic and the ability to read would result in any one knowing that one size does not fit all. An impairment rating of any percentage would result in a PPD (loss of earnings) anywhere from a 0% PPD to a 100% disability (PTD) depending on the unique characteristics of each individual as is explained in Chapter 1 of the AMA Guides.
As well as workers being defrauded, employers also were defrauded by using impairment ratings as a direct method of rating a loss of earnings. Using the same gross earnings as an example, a worker who did not have a loss of earnings but received a 20% impairment rating would receive $2875.24 annually for the rest of their lives, thereby defrauding employers by having to pay lifetime pensions even though the worker had no loss of earnings but would receive a lifetime pension because the worker had minor difficulties urinating, defecating, brushing their teeth, combing their hair, getting an erection, ejaculating, reaching an orgasm etc which are simple basic activities of daily living. Why would WCB force employers to pay workers with no loss of earnings lifetime pensions because they had minor difficulties urinating, defecating, getting an erection, ejaculating etc. Of course, employers when the accident fund is in a surplus situation, they receive dividends in the billions of dollars as opposed to workers who receive nothing and has resulted in Alberta employers having the lowest premiums in North America on the backs of workers and therefore probably should not be paid restitution.
Question is, why would the Alberta Government, knowing that impairment ratings cannot be used as a direct method of rating a loss of earnings, not have directed the WCB BOD to rescind the policy, re-adjudicate all the claims prior to Jan 1, 1995 based on the correct method of determining an earning loss which was by using a workers pre-injury earnings and compared to a worker’s post-injury earnings to determine an earning loss, especially after the Penny decision by the Alberta Court of Queens Bench and upheld by the Alberta Court of Appeal as well as the courts in Nova Scotia and the Yukon. This questions whether the Government were complicit in criminal fraud which would be reasonable to suggest.
I would suggest that all workers whose injuries occur prior to Jan 1, 1995 and had their PPD lifetime pensions calculated directly on impairment ratings file a complaint with the Office of the Ombudsman using this e-mail as a template which can be edited for each individual’s own use.
Gerald K Miller for Mr. J. Smith
Click on the following link: https://www.workerscompensatio
Obviously the U.S. States that give the victim or their family the OH&S fine for injury or death are to be commended for electing people who are intelligent enough to give the levied fine to the victim or the victim’s family. In Alberta the Alberta Government are benefactors of work place accidents where the levied fine is placed in the General Revenue Fund rather than being given to the victim or the victim’s family who are forced into poverty be having to rely on WCB to provide benefits.
Click on the following link: http://www.nydailynews.com/
While it is obvious that not only Alberta is there major problems with all workers compensation boards, there seems to be a convoluted approach to how one body adjudicates claims and how another body adjudicates claims. In Alberta, a worker who has an obvious work related injury and is determined to be disabled, the same worker under federal jurisdiction is considered to be totally disabled and receives a disability pension. The same worker that is totally disabled, receiving CPP disability pension also applies for AISH and is also determined to also be totally disabled, yet this same worker in the workers compensation system is determined to be capable of “imaginary” gainful work making “imaginary” earnings.
It should not surprise any one that the majority of workers compensation benefits are paid by tax payers as most if not all workers will apply for CPP disability benefits, AISH or SFI and and receive these benefits. To suggest that employers fund the accident fund 100% is a lie as approximately 80% of the money paid for disabled workers come from the worker, their families and other tax payers. This was a study performed in the U.S. by two independent bodies when the study was performed using Social Security in the comparative studies when it was determined that the majority of individuals receiving Social Security benefits were disabled workers who either had their claims denied or their benefits denied.
To suggest that we are different in Alberta is grossly illogical as the long standing claims that I am representing (43 years and 29 years) resulted in WCB accepting the claims but refusing to pay benefits. The worker in question has been receiving CPP disability benefits and AISH since 1992 for work related injuries. Another long standing claim (27 years) that was accepted with no benefits resulted in the worker applying for CPP disability benefits and had been receiving CPP disability benefits from 2000 to when she reached 65. It is evident that both AISH and CPP are subsidizing the Alberta WCB through tax payer funded systems which is not what the public and workers should be doing. The Alberta Government know that this is true, refuse to investigate how many disabled workers are on AISH and SFI, and continue to protect the sacred cow. The Federal Government also know that the majority of individuals on CPP disability are disabled workers but according to Services Canada, this is a provincial matter which is a crock of shit because the Federal Government are forcing all Canadians to subsidize workers compensation systems throughout all of Canada when they know that WCB is supposed to be the first payer and that if a disabled worker applies for CPP and receives a disability pension, Services Canada has the legal right to claw back disability benefits from WCB. WCB has no legal right to claw back CPP benefits to offset disabled workers WCB benefits.
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.
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.
(originally published on July 10, 2010)
WCB employees paid to commit fraud.
For most Canadians it would come as a big shock to find that the government(s) runs organizations like the Workers Compensation Board for the sole objective of cost reduction for big business, with itself as one of the largest employers taking full advantage of the conflict of interest.
The Federal Government instituted the Meredith Principle as law into Canada approximately 80 years ago. Today, even though the Federal Government passed on authority to manage Workers Compensation to the provinces, it remains itself one of the greatest benefactors of the new perverted version of Workers Compensation.
Today there is hardly a trace left of the principals set out by Chief Justice of Ontario, Sir William Meredith. It would not be an exaggeration to say that they have taken this legislation, turned it inside out to become a one way street to ensure injured workers have no rights at all. Workers Compensations today uses its own kangaroo courts to insure every right injured worker had are decimated.
The four parts of the principles set out by Chief Justice of Ontario, Sir William Meredith are that employers bear the direct cost of compensation, receiving protection from lawsuits arising from injuries; workers give up the right to sue their employers and receive compensation benefits at no cost for work-related injuries; negligence and fault for the cause of injury are not considerations; and a system administered by a neutral agency would have exclusive jurisdiction over all matters arising out of the enabling legislation. This neutral agency became the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).
Today before an injured worker even gets to where they are allowed to ask the Supreme Court for justice, every appeal in the WCB kangaroo courts must be exhausted, one thing is certain, that by the time injured workers are entitled to ask for justice, the injured worker will be either dead, or dead broke. The time that passes can easily take up to or exceed a decade of abuse, a psychological, and financial bashing that is unparallel in any other form of law today.
Nearly every lawyer today rejects claims for the following reasons, first that WCB law does not comply or need to comply with the standards of our real courts of law. The second is that it’s a complete waste of a lawyers time, and clients money, there is no chance of winning. There is however the odd exception to the rule, and that’s what is thrown if the face of every critic of the WCB.
One lawyer wrote to the BC Bar asking for someone willing to take on a case where fighting WCB was like having gone into an Alice in Wonderland form of judicial law. The complete absence of any resemblance to law whatsoever, where WCB makes up and changes the rules, ignores its own rules, and imposes a twisted versions of rules on any lawyer foolish enough to stand up for injured workers.
In a nutshell WCB does the following, in about 90% or more of all of its claims it pays in full with no complaints, these consist of everything from a sliver of wood in the hand to minor cuts and bruises. All those minor claims are WCB’s claim to fame that they are doing their job and doing it well.
Now on the other hand, injuries like Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome or other debilitating injuries that last for decades, or even for life, those are the costly claims, and are also the claims WCB has no hesitation to spend a million dollars to insure a claimant will not set a president by getting what is owed to him/her.
The crux of the matter lies in long term and permanently injured workers, everything else WCB talks about is smoke shows to divert the public from the real truth.
Well if what I am about to say might offend you, too bad, we as a society need to wake up, grow up, and take some responsibility for the mess we have allowed to exist in our country. It’s your fault we are in this mess because you and your neighbor never spoke up when someone you knew got shafted by the WCB.
My fellow Canadians, you are a bunch of idiots if you think, we as a society can gain dignity abroad fighting the Muslims in Afghanistan while on the home front we treat our injured workers as bad as the Taliban treat their women.
Let me say this, do you think the same idiots who designed WCB, will actually make an exception for our permanently disabled veterans? If you do you better crawl back under the rock you have been hiding under. Do some research; they are already being tossed to skid row.
Pardon me for not doing the “heel toe dosey doe” for the Liberal in Alberta who was honest enough to tell the story about how the WCB employees get paid to screw injured workers over.
Pardon the blunt language but common courtesy in the past and present, has meant inhuman treatment for fellow injured workers to a society too busy with their own self preservation to do anything about it.
Is there not some bitter irony that this story exposed by the Liberal Party in Alberta comes hot on the heals of the Patrick Clayton story. Will someone wake up before we have to nominate Patrick Clayton as the only man willing to stand up and tell the truth about what is going on inside the Workers Compensation system, not only in Alberta, but all of Canada? Sorry make that two people in Alberta now, let’s not forget Hugh MacDonald.
Well it was good of the Alberta Liberals to expose this crime, only the Liberals should have said that Patrick Clayton indeed had little options left and the path he chose and may have been for him the only option he could find left. This admission by the Alberta Liberals also gives powerful credibility to the claims made by Patrick Clayton and that indeed all he really wanted was to find a way to expose this story, he was a first hand witness, he was a victim of crime.
Ask any injured worker who has tried to tell their story to the press, and found they were just banging their head against a brick wall. Patrick Clayton was right in regards to the fact it was the only way people would listen to what he had to say.
The second issue is, where is the call for a police investigation into this crime, and while they are at it, they can find this crime duplicated in each and every province and territory in Canada? It’s a Pandora’s box that nobody has guts enough to take on because to do so would jeopardize a relationship with big business and industry, not to mention the cost of having government employees.
Now I also have to ask what gives with the names of our political parties. Has anyone besides me noticed that when it comes to shafting injured workers, all three major party names are very big on the list of making promises to treat injured workers fairly, then in return you might well have urinated down their throats if your actions could speak for you.
Take for example in British Columbia the Liberal Party had one member in particular who really road the band wagon of justice for injured workers. Do you know what the Liberals did once elected? After all once you defeat the existing government, what else can you do to put the truth about WCB back into hiding?
The Liberals did what they all do in every province when the WCB’s looking like the criminals they really are; they had a review, and guess who represented the big business in this review?
Well it was none other than Allen Hunt, and guess who the Liberals hired to implement the findings of that review?
Well to bad you can’t have Charles Manson as head of your justice committee, using your logic it would have made very good sense.
Isn’t it amazing when you have a government that hires one of two disputing parties to write the new rules, insanity obviously is hitting new heights and to this day no one has had balls enough to do anything about it?
Look again at the words in the Meredith Principle Agreement and try find any form of neutral party in the name Allen Hunt.
Oh, by the way, check up and find out if Allen Hunt is even a Canadian, he was not at the time our governments hired him. And pray what the hell were the Liberals in British Columbia thinking when they hired an American to re-write Canadian Law?
The citizens of Canada got what we paid for, it’s called “Screwed” and corporations all across Canada were laughing all the way to the bank. Its not just Canadian corporations, the vast benefactor of these new WCB policies befit foreign investors even more, as today the vast majority of big business is majority owned outside of Canada.
So then we must ask, what the hell is a Liberal? Not that they are better or worse than the NDP or Conservatives, they are all a bunch of liars who will say anything to get elected, and then my mind asks me if Patrick Clayton, did or did not have alternative options.
There simply is not enough space here to post the crimes each party has committed against the permanently disabled injured workers. Each and every party n power has a long standing legacy of balancing its books on the backs of injured workers.
Ask yourself this, when the government and the WCB does not have to follow the law, should the citizens of Canada be required to? Would you still condemn Patrick Clayton if you understood what he was up against? It is still against the law to endorse crime so we won’t go there.
Please don’t answer that, instead lets hammer those responsible for this mess and have them tossed out of their offices, without their lucrative pensions as penalty for the crimes they committed against fellow Canadians.
Seriously just how corrupt can our WCB Boards get before someone will say enough is enough?
Why does government continue to balance its books on the backs of the disabled?
Why do those working to screw injured workers over have such mind boggling pension plans paid for with injured workers blood?
Time For a Reality Check
Injured workers are being told on a daily basis for decades now that if the adjudicator cannot see pain, there is no claim. Blatantly adjudicators have said directly to the face of injured workers, “we have unlimited resources, we don’t care if you try seek litigation”.
Nearly every injured worker has been sneered at with the following comment, “Workers Compensation is not required to pay for pain, and it pays only for lost wages”. Now we know they don’t pay for either pain or lost wages.
We have see instances where adjudicators have bragged to employers that they have a ZERO track record for anyone staying on WCB benefits, then being promoted by coincidence for their outstanding achievements.
We have thousands of cases in Canada where Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome is being denied after having been classified as fakes by people who subcontract for WCB as physical therapists. The irony is that these people were already certified as suffering from Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome by licensed doctors, or in some cases expert medical doctors whom are specialists in the field.
The way injured workers with CRPS are being treated today makes a joke out of the Supreme Court ruling on that very same topic.
A history of DENIAL by compensation boards regardless of medical evidence proving injured workers were honest in regards to their medical history. Yet the Workers Compensation will spend hundreds of thousands of injured workers dollars to show the rare case of a fraud claimant.
The reality is that for every fraud claimant, there are about 1000 frauds committed against injured workers.
The WCB Boards have hired in nearly every serious injured worker claim, a spy to watch and video or document injured workers movements, regardless of the traumatic impact this type of investigation has on honest, and law abiding citizens of Canada, even if there is evidence that investigators fabricate evidence, they continue to be rehired.
WCB Boards have a history of hiring or refusing to rehire private investigators, rehab consultants, or any persons dealing with reporting on the condition of the victim if they do not end up getting cost reduction.
Nearly in every case where WCB contracts out work, the work entails a form of denial of claim, and its not a secret this business of denial is one of the most lucrative startup business today.
Hiring drop out doctors from med school to find in favor of reduction of cost of claims, period, and to heck with the real truth, they are the backbone of WCB’s medical review panels.
WCB to this day refuses injured workers the right to have a witness present when their own privately hired doctors do the assessment to determine permanent injury. They have the right to refuse not only the witness but the obligation to pay injured workers for their injury as forfeited by the injured worker for refusing to be examined if you refuse to be examined in the presence of a witness.
The very AMA Guide they use states clearly the rules for using that information, yet WCB allows these doctors to violate those very rules in order to reduce WCB costs.
The doctors they use are the same ones used to fight injury claims in auto accidents, so as a doctor, their job is to make a liar out of the injured worker, to negate the claims of injury are the objective of these doctors who defy the oath made by doctors to protect and serve their patients best interests.
The Hippocratic Oath is one of the oldest binding documents in history. Written in antiquity, its principles are held sacred by doctors to this day, however these doctors are paid to slander what other doctors gave diagnosed, to refute the true extent of an injury.
Ask yourself how the actions of these doctors are not the most flagrant violation of the Meredith Agreement, and it flies in the face of everything that legitimized the Workers Compensation System in the first place. Refer to the Meredith Principal.
In British Columbia the Workers Compensation Board writes letters to injured workers doctors, demanding that in order to get paid; they must conform to rules that are withheld from the public, a form of extortion that makes doctors afraid to write anything supportive of injured workers claims.
Doctor’s behaviors after receiving these letters is 180 degree shift in attitude towards their patients, they absolutely refuse to write anything that can be used in a courtroom to prove an injured workers claim. Some specialists will only agree to see you if you agree not to use their findings in a courtroom.
Regardless of how honest injured workers are, WCB adjudicators are notorious for using the “laughing in your face” tactic to elicit a reaction out of you that could be used to terminate your benefits. Another common tactic injured workers must endure is the comments “your just too lazy to return to work” again to elicit a violent reaction they can use against the injured worker.
Instances of where adjudicators are suggesting patients (injured workers) use opiod drugs to be able to return to work, that despite the danger it poses to both injured workers and fellow workers.
Instances where adjudicators refuse to follow the advice by a patient’s doctor, to be referred to a specialist, and then the patient is also not allowed under WCB regulation to sue for the consequential injuries.
The WCB refuse to be responsible for any injuries that occur as a result of an injury. Example is when you have one leg that is unstable or a head injury that causes a loss of balance, the injury that occurs due to a fall is not recognized by WCB.
The WCB also like to use a chart to determine what they owe injured workers; however the very first statement in that chart says that the contents are not to be used to evaluate the disability of injured workers. I refer to the AMA charts that are being used (abused) systematically with only one objective in mind, ironically they never use the words to deny a claim, and they use the politically correct version of “cost reduction.”
Let me stop here, because if any investigation needs my help I can over them about 20 pages of abuse by WCB without ever having to repeat myself. Look up Workers Compensation on CBC or CTV and read the comments left by hundreds if not thousands of Canadians who have been burned by none other than their own government, because they had an accident at work. A crime they must pay for by living in poverty for the rest of their lives.
In closing I would like to thank Hugh MacDonald for having been honest enough to step forward with some truth in regards to the WCB. Canada is in need of more honest men and women with the courage to stand up for truth, even if it’s more cost effective to shut up and hide as most politicians do.
As for evidence to back up what I have said, I have a box that weighs over 80lbs of paper, video tapes, audio tapes, legal documents to back up everything said in this article and would be happy to hand it over to any lawyer with the integrity and courage to fight this abuse.
As for the common Canadian citizen, please have the courage to stand up and tell these political hacks to their face that their days of abuse need to end…..immediately or face the fury of the electorate.
Fight for people who have been treated worse that the victims of abuse overseas that we claim to be fighting to liberate. Fight to liberate our injured workers from a lifetime of poverty and verbal abuse from both WCB and the governments who allow them to abuse disabled injured workers.
The RCMP should put locks on the WCB offices until a complete investigation is done into the behavior of all WCB employees, likewise no unions should be allowed to negotiate excuses for crimes committed against WCB victims.
Dereliction of duty charges should be laid in the case of every upper level management position found to be supporting the current corrupt WCB system. Criminal charges should be brought against every person who willingly and knowingly reduced or removed injured workers benefits.
Charges of deliberate psychological abuse charges should be laid against all adjudicators who have verbally abused their position to reduce costs for the WCB.
Finally all charges against Patrick Clayton be placed on hold until the investigation into the WCB is completed, in the mean time Patrick Clayton needs to be sent to a rehabilitation center and compensated for the abuse committed against him. If in fact the WCB is found to be guilty, all charges against Patrick Clayton should be dismissed.
JLS ……For What It’s Worth
Click on the following link:
Looks like Alberta is not the only workers compensation system that gives bonuses or blood money to their employees to force disabled workers back to work. As always, the governments stick their heads up their asses and pretend that all is okay.
For those people who are unaware of what is happening in Australia over cuts to workers compensation benefits due to a 4 billion dollar deficit here are some links:
Cutting workers benefits does not solve the problem of deficits and adding insult to injury is that policeman are exempted from the cutbacks. The legislation passed by the NSW government exempting policeman from cutbacks is as stupid as providing firefighters with being the only workers who are given presumptive status while other workers are exempted. Many people can understand now why people don’t bother to vote due to the fact that when a person reaches into a barrel of assholes, you will pull out an asshole.
When governments bring in legislation that divides workers or bring in legislation to protect the system and the people within the system, I believe that workers should support each other and go on strike and stay on strike even if the government bring in back to work legislation. Realistically, there are not enough jails in Canada to incarcerate hundreds of thousands of workers who choose to disobey back to work legislation. If governments will not protect working people, then civil disobedience is the only way to fix the problems that plague workers compensation systems.