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WSIB - Ontario Nurses' Association

WSIB - Ontario Nurses' Association

SECTION GNON-ECONOMIC

SECTION GNON-ECONOMIC LOSS (NEL)ASSESSMENT AND AWARDNEL awards are paid to workers who have a work-related permanent impairmentfor all accidents on or after January 2, 1990. A permanent impairment means anypermanent physical or functional abnormality or loss, including disfigurement,which results from an injury, and any psychological damage arising from the abnormalityor loss.The degree of permanent impairment is expressed as a percentage of total permanentimpairment of the whole person. WSIB will determine that you have reachedmaximum medical recovery, there is no chance for significant improvement andyou still have a residual impairment. The Board will send you a roster of physiciansand ask you to choose a name from that list and respond to the Board within35 days. If you do not choose a physician, the Board will choose one for you.Do some research on the names provided and choose one you know has someexperience/familiarity with your type of medical condition. For example, if youhave functional limitations as a result of a low-back injury, you should choose anorthopaedic surgeon, neurosurgeon, neurologist, physical rehabilitation medicinespecialist etc. While all the physicians on the list have training in doing assessments,a physician who specializes in your type of condition might do a morethorough assessment.You can call the phone number on the letter that accompanied the roster, and requesta list of the specialties of those doctors.If you are told they don’t need to provide the information, tell them you havespoken to your Union and have the right to the information. You can also researchthe names on the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) websiteat www.cpso.on.ca.Once you have the information, take the list to your family doctor and ask for her/his opinion on which doctors on the list are more worker-friendly, and/or moreexperienced with your type of medical condition.Physicians on the list must not be employed by WSIB, have treated you for thesame condition, have treated you or a member of your family, have acted as aconsultant in your treatment or have acted as a consultant to your employer. Theseconditions can be waived by WSIB for workers who live in small or remote communities,or if the worker and employer agree to the selection of a particularphysician in writing.39

When having your assessment, it is advised to stop when the pain first starts. Thismethod should be practiced at all assessments, not just for the NEL. That way atrue measurement of your range of motion and objective medical findings is alwaysbeing accurately documented. If you push yourself too much, not only couldyou re-injure yourself, you could potentially get a zero NEL assessment, whichcould disqualify you for future WSIB benefits.If you are attending this type of appointment, contact ONA’s WSIB Intake foradditional advice. You can reach them by phoning 1-800-387-5580, press “0,” andaccess the WSIB Intake line at extension #7721.Once the Board receives the assessment report, they will decide the percentage ofimpairment, and based on a formula, will assign a dollar value to the impairment.NEL benefits may be paid monthly or as a lump sum, depending on whether thebenefit is under or over a threshold rate determined by WSIB. If the dollar value isat or under the threshold, it is automatically paid to the worker as a lump-sum payment.If the dollar value is over the threshold, it is paid to the worker as a monthlypayment to age 65, unless the worker elects to receive payment as a lump sum.WSIB may consider a request from a worker for a re-determination of an existingNEL award, in cases where there has been a significant permanent deteriorationof the work-related medical condition and providing 12 months have passed sincethe last NEL decision.40

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