Is it time to "rehabilitate" the WSIB? - Diamond and Diamond Lawyers

Is it time to "rehabilitate" the WSIB?

On February 20, 2015, the Thunder Bay and District Injured Workers Support Group released its platform for change, which discusses the need for a rehabilitation system that supports injured workers and recognizes the difficulties that many face with disabilities in obtaining and maintaining employment.

According to The Chronicle Journal, the latest administration at the Ontario Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) have placed an importance in cutting costs, adjudicators are now instructed to “look to deny.” This has cut the system’s current annual costs by $700 million, and long-term costs by billions. 

The Ontario Worker’s Compensation System is 100 years old this year and is the original public program in our social safety net. While the program has provided support to millions through the years, annual cuts are showing strain on the system.

Thunder Bay and District Injured Workers Support Group believes that the system can be updated and improved to provide better service and help the WSIB balance their books at the same time.  A few of the suggestions include:

  • A publicly administered and delivered compensation system.
  • The Board of Directors will have strong representation from Labour and the Ontario Network of Injured Workers’ Groups (ONIWG).
  • All workers in Ontario will be covered by workers’ compensation legislation.
  • A compensation system that will restore injured workers into the hands of their treating healthcare practitioners.

The full list can be found here.

According to Steve Mantis, who co-founded the Thunder Bay and District Workers Support Group, “the intent is to refocus the system to help those who were injured during employment to provide better employment outcomes and workers who have regained their capacity to re-engage in society. Like the Scandinavian countries that have the best benefits for people with disabilities, they also have the highest levels of employment for disabled workers.”

It’s great to see groups take the initiative to propose alternatives to a 100-year-old system. However, it’s up to the Ontario government to discuss options on how to provide the best possible care/resources for our injured and disabled workers.

Work-related injuries and deaths are all too common in Ontario, with thousands of employees suffering some form of work-related injury in the province every year.  If you or a loved on have experienced a work-related injury, call a personal injury lawyer from Diamond & Diamond who understands workers’ compensation. Contact us now at 1-800-567-HURT or on our contact form here.

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