The following policy and procedures were recently revised or introduced. All references to the “Act” are to The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013.
Privacy of Information (POL 05/2017), Authority for Disclosure (PRO 06/2017), Records Management (PRO 07/2017)
Updates have been made to our Privacy of Information policy, and our procedures for Authority for Disclosure and Records Management. These documents provide guidelines for protecting privacy during the collection and disclosure of information. The following revisions to the documents have been made:
- Clarification that a worker can request removal of irrelevant medical information from their claim file (removal of personal health information that has been “over collected” and is not relevant or related to the workplace injury or its adjudication).
- The definition of “relevant” has been clarified to note it includes all information considered and weighed in reaching a decision, including information that may or may not support a decision.
- Clarification that when the worker has moved & new address cannot be found. In those circumstances where the WCB cannot locate the worker, the waiting period prescribed in the Act may be abbreviated only if we have ensured that we have done everything reasonably possible to locate the worker (i.e., letters/phone calls to employer, co-workers, known dependents/spouse, etc.) and have fully documented these efforts.
- Clarification that a lawyer’s letter is considered a suitable alternate consent form (in lieu of a Worker’s Authorization Letter of Representation (WREP) document).
Calculation of Net Compensation Payable (PRO 54/2017)
Section 2(3) of our Act states that WCB must annually establish a table of earnings and probable compensation from employment for the purposes of Section 2(1)(k). When there are any legislated changes to the income tax deductions, either federally or provincially, and these changes become available, the WCB will publish revised sample tables of earnings and incorporate them into the calculation of net earnings loss. The Provincial tax rates have been revised July 1, 2017. Therefore, we have updated this procedure to include a revised sample table of earnings and probable deductions.
Suspension of Benefits (PRO 09/2017)
The Suspension of Benefits policy and procedure establish guidelines in situations when a worker is absent from health care or does not agree to participate with a vocational plan. The policy and procedure were last updated in 2016 to clarify that suspensions are based on if the worker has a “good reason” for the absence or non-compliance. The procedure has now been updated again slightly to clarify that benefits may be suspended if the worker has a pattern of casual absences. The procedure also clarifies that the worker may be eligible for other forms of support from their employer for casual absences (e.g., employer sick leave, short-term disability plan, pressing necessity leave, etc.). Where it has been confirmed with the employer that they will provide coverage for casual absences. Operations staff will suspend benefits for that time period.
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