Sep 252018
 

By Gerald

The following story is indicative of a system that is totally broken when Case Managers, DRDRB are understaffed, under trained and do not have time to make reasonable and correct decisions, thus leading to simply denying a claim or benefits forcing workers to appeal  decisions that overload the Appeals Commission who then take months or years to provide a decision. This is not expedience which is one of the four fundamental principles of the workers compensation system. Undoubtedly this will get worse as the new legislation and policy comes into effect with many Case Managers not being aware of the major changes although most Case Managers, DRDRB and the Appeals Commissioners have no expertise in law or medicine and do not know how to interpret the old and existing legislation and policies. The whole system is nothing more than a gong show.

Workers’ Compensation workers from across Canada meet to discuss crushing workloads and the need for sweeping reforms for mental health injuries

PRESS RELEASE PR Newswire

Sep. 24, 2018, 02:37 PM

NIAGARA FALLS, ONSept. 24, 2018 /CNW/ – Representatives of the major unions representing Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) workers in Canada met to discuss issues that impact injured workers, employers and employees of workers compensation boards.

The Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), and the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) represent Workers’ Compensation employees in Canada’s ten provinces and three territories.

The conference focused on two primary issues affecting employees of WCB’s and injured workers alike. Sadly, unreasonable workloads are experienced by workers in multiple sectors across Canada. No one is immune from the negative health impacts of heavy workloads.

All employers including Canada’s Workers Compensation Boards have very specific legal duties to protect workers under health and safety legislation. Union representatives hold the view that “excessive workload” is a serious health and safety issue negatively affecting employee mental and physical well being.

The unions have decided to hold their respective Provincial Legislative bodies accountable for the lack of safeguards designed to protect working people from the devastating impact of excessive workload. Each compensation organization is full of talented professional staff that routinely put in more than an honest day’s work.

“It is inexcusable that staff are prevented from doing the kind of job that they are capable of because of employer indifference to creating manageable workloads.” said Tamara Elisseou president of CUPE 1866.

Lloyd Samson, president of Local 55 of the Nova Scotia Government and General Employees Union (NSGEU) said, “We want to ensure that the system remains focused on safety and prevention but ensures comprehensive and fair coverage for injured workers.”

Debbie Wallace, president of Local 2180 of the Saskatchewan Government and General Employees’ Union (SGEU) said, “It is important that the views of the workers who are expected to operate the system be heard and respected. We are the workers who know where the system is flawed and how it could be improved for all workers in all sectors.”

“We leave this conference with the view that Provincial Governments must expand existing compensation legislation to help those suffering from the effects of work overload. Governments must also take tangible steps to strengthen prevention and enforcement in order to better protect the well being of all workers,” said CUPE 1750 president Harry Goslin of Ontario and host of the event.

SOURCE Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE)

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

Aug 012018
 

By Gerald

I was one of the privileged attendees that were invited by Dr. Brigham who I have known for over 10 years. For those who are unfamiliar with Dr. Brigham, he is one of the world’s leading experts on impairment ratings and is the Editing Chair of the AMA Guides 6th Edition. This is the second Webinar I have been invited to by Dr. Brigham specific to problems within the workers compensation systems with other Webinars being planned. The topic was something that affects every one, from the tax payer who is forced to subsidize workers compensation systems when workers claim and benefits are illegally denied based on WCB friendly doctors, in house lawyers and insurance companies who are to blame for the anger and frustration of the injured worker. The topic specific to the Webinar was “Anger and frustration of the Injured Worker”

It was agreed by all attendees that the grand bargain that resulted in the formation of workers compensation is no longer the grand bargain that it was supposed to be. Many in attendance believe that the whole idea of workers compensation should be abolished and some other form of disability insurance be provided through the Federal Government rather than through provinces or states who do a pathetically poor job of ensuring workers get the benefits that they should be entitled to. All in all it was an interesting topic.

Obviously, everyone knows that the system does not work and most workers with permanent disabilities wind up on CPP disability benefits or Social Assistance resulting in taxpayers paying for work-related injuries.