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WSIB - Ontario Nurses' Association

WSIB - Ontario Nurses' Association

may include having an

may include having an ergonomic assessment done of the school environment.Some accommodations that have been made for workers have included purchasingtwo sets of books, so the worker does not have to carry books back and forth,having an ergonomically-designed desk and chair, having a writer to take notes ifthe injury is related to the hands/arms, speech recognition software, etc.We also routinely recommend you try to include in the plan that it will be revisitedif future events preclude the original activities from unfolding as planned, i.e.,sometimes the recommended educational course may be discontinued based onclass size. We also recommend you try to get in to the plan six to 12 months ofLOE benefits after any retraining is completed, to provide for LOE benefits whileyou conduct a job search and seek sustainable employment. We also recommendyou write on the plan, “this is without prejudice to my right to appeal the plan,”before you sign it.You should, at all times, stress you are prepared to cooperateSome workers and their doctors may feel the training and/or deemed job are somedically unsuitable, even if accommodated, it might result in harm to the worker’shealth and safety. The worker then must weigh the health risks versus thefinancial, employment and discontinuation of LOE benefits risks. As we havesaid, the WTP and deemed SO can be appealed; there is never a guarantee of successon appeal, and the worker may have no money coming in while the appealis in process if they chose not to cooperate while appealing. It is usually best fora worker who is not satisfied with the plan to continue to cooperate, but appealin the meanwhile. That way the worker’s benefits cannot be discontinued, i.e.cooperate in meetings, in particular until a deemed SO and future LOE benefitshave been determined.Re-employment obligationsWorkers may also meet the criteria and fall under the “two year from date ofinjury re-employment” employer obligations under the WSIA. These provisionsdo not guarantee a worker will return to the pre-accident employer, but if an employerdoes not try to accommodate the worker when a job is available, the employercould be fined.Whenever possible, it is in the worker’s best interest to return to the accident employer,i.e. due to: loss of seniority; loss of LTD benefits (most future LTD plansdo not allow for a pre-existing condition); loss of other benefits, such as extendedhealth care plans; level of STD sick time benefits; no guarantees the worker willget a job in the deemed SO; usually only one WTP; the worker develops a noncompensablecondition and cannot continue with the plan, and therefore LOEbenefits are discontinued.37

Other optionsEven though the worker should participate in the WTP and emphasize with WSIBthat s/he is fully prepared to cooperate, including participating in the plan, i.e.,training, cooperation does not necessarily mean agreement. The worker shouldstill discuss filing a grievance with the Bargaining Unit ONA representativeagainst the accident employer for failure to accommodate, and should not resign.Also, it may be suggested the accident employer pay for the training and give theworker a job after completion of the training. This will decrease the employer’sadministrative costs to WSIB, and make the worker eligible for a first future WTP,if necessary, as this discussion usually takes place in the early Work Reintegrationstage.It is always hard to predict what will happen over the course of Work Reintegrationor Work Transition meetings. Future discussions change factors; there maybe an unsatisfactory WTS, the CM might not agree, and any other variables mayoccur that cannot be predicted in advance.Final reviews of FEL awards and LOE benefitsFinal reviews of FEL awards or LOE benefits will be deferred until after theLMRP or WTP has been completed for workers who were actively involved in anLMRP or WTP continuing through or started up after November 26, 2002. Oncethe LMRP or WTP has been completed, WSIB would then have 30 days to completethe final review of the FEL awards or LOE benefits.Note: WSIB can conduct a further review of the FEL award or LOE benefits afterthe final review, based on a significant deterioration of the worker’s condition thatresults in an increased permanent impairment on or after November 26, 2002 (thedate the WSIB changes the impairment).Workers who are claiming a significant deterioration first undergo treatment toimprove their condition as much as possible. Once no further improvement islikely, a NEL assessment should be arranged. The NEL award must be increasedbefore WSIB can review the FEL award or LOE benefits.This review after a significant deterioration does not apply to workers who werenever assessed for a NEL award or received a zero NEL award prior to the finalreview.38

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