By Bob Barnetson
The Alberta Workers’ Health Centre recently concluded a multi-year project aimed at improving the health and safety of new Alberta workers. The summary report is here.
One of the most interesting outcomes is a case study of a new Alberta worker who was injured on the job. “Betty” experienced great difficulty in obtaining compensation for a debilitating workplace injury.
Among the challenges Betty faced were:
2. When she finally filed a WCB claim, her employment was terminated.
3. The WCB jerked her around in accepting her claim, including treating a specialist medical diagnosis as just a preliminary opinion.
4. The WCB made multiple changes to her wage-loss benefits, often without notice to her and have yet to pay her everything she is owed.
Betty is now unemployed with no income and, because of her injury, has no reasonable prospects of employment. Betty’s case is both fairly typical and fairly spectacular.
It is typical in that many injured workers face these problems.
It is spectacular in that Betty’s faced almost every problem injured workers possibly could face in filing a claim and she documented how poorly the WCB treated her.
Betty’s overall assessment is “If I’d known how awful this would be… I would have never applied for WCB.” Hopefully, the WCB Review that was conducted over the last year will address some of the systematic problems.