Jim Thomas, former Alternate Chair of the WSIAT, is studying four policy areas for the WSIB - aggravation basis, recurrences, work disruptions and permanent impairment, and will be making recommendations in the coming months. A progress meeting was held in Toronto on February 19. Mr. Thomas is considering recommendations for significant changes to the work disruptions policy and to the permanent impairment policy. The changes would be unfavourable for injured workers.
The work disruption policy changes would involve no benefits payable to workers in the case of short-term work disruptions, even though injured workers have additional barriers in replacing income during these disruptions compared with healthy workers (for instance, less likelihood of qualifying for Employment Insurance, less ability to find replacement work elsewhere).
The permanent impairment policy changes would involve the reduction of non-economic loss awards to reflect the contribution of pre-existing conditions, even though these conditions did not produce symptoms prior to the work injury.
Mr. Thomas advised that his report will be issued in late March or early April of 2013.