It would be interesting to do a study as to how many workers receive permanent disability benefits past the age of 65 in compliance with WCA 56(7) which states that for permanent total disability or permanent partial disability a pension must be payable to a worker during the worker’s lifetime. At present WCB is not in compliance with the WCA as the lifetime pension that was paid to workers prior to Jan 1, 1995 is based on an impairment rating which is illegal which I am sure that WCB, the Appeals Commission and the Government are aware of.
Because of deeming it would be fair to suggest that there are but a handful of workers who receive a permanent disability pension (ELP after Jan. 1995) past the age of 65 and if a worker whose benefits have been terminated because of deeming and they were unable to perform any gainful employment, these workers would not be eligible to be paid any disability pension past the age of 65. Because they were unable to work and contribute to CPP, they would not receive any CPP pension either as do other Canadians who have never been injured. A worker who has been deemed by WCB and unable to perform regular gainful work or for that matter, any work after living in poverty prior to age 65 would be forced to live in greater poverty as a senior by collecting only old age security, guaranteed income supplement and a small monthly pension from the Alberta Government all paid for by Alberta and Canadian taxpayers rather than WCB.
A disabled worker whose claim has been terminated due to deeming and accepted on AISH would receive $1588.00 a month, free medical aid which includes prescription medications, dental and eye glasses, free ambulance services etc. all paid for by Alberta tax payers. When a disabled worker reaches age 65, they receive no WCB pension because of deeming, their AISH disability pension is terminated and they would receive the OAS, GIS and Alberta senior benefits that is less than what they received on AISH. Disabled workers whose AISH benefits have been terminated now also have to pay for their own prescription medications which can be costly although in Alberta, seniors only have to pay a maximum of $25.00 for any prescription medications that are on the list of approved prescription medications although paying $25.00 for medication in many cases would result in having to go without eating for a day or more.
For any one to suggest that WCB does not download most of the cost of caring for disabled workers onto tax payers, it would be fair to suggest that these people would have to be living on a different planet. That is how the system operates whether it is in Alberta, Montana or Timbuctu. Rather than a review of WCB, the people of Alberta should be entitled to a Public Inquiry.