Injustice to Injured Workers

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Injustice to Injured Workers

Postby soupy » Jan 8th, 2019, 11:22 am

Recent letter sent to Castanet.

Injustice to injured workers
Contributed - Jan 7, 2019 / 1:58 pm | Story: 246163
In 2008 I was working as a paramedic when I sustained a shoulder injury. WorksafeBC initially accepted my claim for a shoulder strain. So shoulder strain injury accepted

In the following months my symptoms became worse and neurological in nature. The board sent me to numerous specialists to find answers. After a year, the board started to pressure me to return to my job. Year off work just seeing specialists?

I mentioned to my case worker that I was still experiencing muscle weakness in my arm and hand. With these symptoms, it would be dangerous for myself, my partner, and patients for me to return to work. I had also asked the board to refer me to the Vocation Rehab Program. My plea fell upon deaf ears. I was cut off benefits in 2009. I appealed to the board multiple times to be put back on benefits and receive retraining. My appeals were denied.

In 2010, I saw a sports medicine specialist who ordered an MRI of my shoulder and referred me to a specialist. WCAT's vice chair determined my shoulder injury was compensable. Now it is compensable, but not for re-training?I appealed to the board once again, asking for retraining, as I could not return to my job as a paramedic. My appeal was denied. During this time, my marriage broke down, leading to divorce. I had no income, so I contacted social services. I was told that I did not qualify as I had assests that I could liquidate. So I did. I lost my house and all of my savings. After 18 years of helping people, when I needed help, there was nothing for me.

WCAT denied an oral hearing, and the vice chair sided with the board, determining that my injury did not cause TOS and CRPS. Professionals took advise from a specialist to determine this

Had my doctor had the opportunity to explain the reason why my injury had caused my condition, I would have won. Worksafe would have to pay me wage loss and reimburse me for my retraining. All Doctor's reports are available during WCAT, however the specialist would have more weight than family GP

I believe the money that employers pay for this insurance is not going to injured workers' pensions, or retraining. It is going into the board's back pockets for refusing appeals. LOL. Amount of claims accepted vs refusal is obsurd.
Claims always favor the worker.


In 2012, I had a bilateral rib resection. After a three-month recovery, I was given the green light to obtain retraining. I was told it could not be physically demanding, as I had to be carfeul not to reinjure my arms. I had to cash in a pension and take out a student loan to retrain myself. In my opinion, the board should never have cut me off benefits. Why does the board have these services if they are not being utilized properly? What happens to the injured workers who are less fortunate than me? More importantly, does anyone care?

I recently took WCAT to Supreme Court and lost. The judge based his decision on the fact that my union representative failed to represent me adequately. Where is the justice in this decision? What about the injured worker? Every working British Columbian should be frightened.
So you lost the decision after going through the many forms of protest and challenges and now blame the Union ?? So confused

So in this letter the writer is complaining that business owners (Employers who pay Worker's insurance) should fully retrain this worker for a new career based on an injury that medical professionals determined DID NOT CAUSE the current conditions she was suffering from. And through various steps of appeal, the decision was upheld.

Seems to me the system worked perfectly. Claim accepted for injury that occured at the time. WorkSafe sent the worker to multiple specialists, eventually ended claim based on medical reports. Worker appealed to the Board as they are able to do. Appeals were denied. :smt045

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Re: Injustice to Injured Workers

Postby gman313 » Jan 8th, 2019, 4:05 pm

Well said soupy. I have been a part of many appeals and WCAT and they typically get it pretty accurate.

One thing people will never understand is that some pain is not a disability and normal part of recovery process.

Actually most people will do better working with the Employee Advisor's office instead of their union. However the EAO is only available to you if you do not have a union. I did five WCATs and the union advisors were useless, it was hilarious to watch.

BCGEU WSBC reps I am talking to you lol

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Re: Injustice to Injured Workers

Postby Hassel99 » Jan 8th, 2019, 5:15 pm

Great Post Soupy.

Its crazy what people will rationalize in their own mind. You can see based on the letter writers own words where coverage was applied for a year. All seems totally reasonable to me.

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Re: Injustice to Injured Workers

Postby gman313 » Jan 9th, 2019, 8:52 am

Reminds me of this case when I worked in private senior care

this care aide supposedly put out her back. after like a year on WSBC her doctor suggested she still had back problems. I put a PI on her. He films her going into her car, running up a mountain and continuing running for about 7k at 5min km. This is all video documented

then she is invited to meet with her case manager who shows her the video and asks her to explain. She can't. She is charged with fraud, bankrupt and needing to pay back like 80k for a false claim and the doctor is blacklisted with WSBC. Don't mess with them.

They are great for legitimate injuries but boy they will catch you if not.

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Re: Injustice to Injured Workers

Postby TylerM4 » Jan 9th, 2019, 9:58 am

I also agree. People always see themselves as the victim - regardless of the actual circumstances.

This person should have returned to work when given the opportunity. If he/she legitimately could not do the job it would be noted by the employer and they would have been forced to take action including changing job duties, retraining, etc. Instead she/he refused to return to work and now has to live by the consequences. As an employee - you don't get the luxury of specifying when you should return to work or if you are capable of doing the job, that's up to the employer and WCAT. This person didn't even try and simply said "no".

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Re: Injustice to Injured Workers

Postby soupy » Jan 9th, 2019, 10:52 am

gman313 wrote:Reminds me of this case when I worked in private senior care

this care aide supposedly put out her back. after like a year on WSBC her doctor suggested she still had back problems. I put a PI on her. He films her going into her car, running up a mountain and continuing running for about 7k at 5min km. This is all video documented

then she is invited to meet with her case manager who shows her the video and asks her to explain. She can't. She is charged with fraud, bankrupt and needing to pay back like 80k for a false claim and the doctor is blacklisted with WSBC. Don't mess with them.

They are great for legitimate injuries but boy they will catch you if not.


That's awesome !! Good for you.
I love hearing stories of theives getting caught, which is exactly what this is.

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Re: Injustice to Injured Workers

Postby gman313 » Jan 9th, 2019, 10:55 am

WCATs are all publicly available but names are removed.

some interesting reads

http://www.wcat.bc.ca/search/decision_search.aspx

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Re: Injustice to Injured Workers

Postby burnedatstake » Jan 9th, 2019, 3:38 pm

i read this thread and i see a lot of cynicism which is too bad. and that has tainted the process in my opinion. in reading the responses i see something that rings true. if you are injured you cant rely on others or the process. not a union rep or anyone. you have to be proactive yourself. its not personal - its business. and business is geared for worksafe to come out on top so the worker can get their bonus.

once my medical advisors and i fought for surgery on an ankle/achillies and it happened. the physio fantasy wasnt cutting the mustard. my specialist even did the ankle surgery with the achillies despite worksafes firm objection. the specialist found it absurd that worksafe was asking him to risk my life twice putting me under anesthesia 2 separate times. once under worksafe and once under bc med after i went through the OR hamsterwheel for the achillies. it was the same recovery schedule as the achillies anyways. he expressed to me that many specialists were so busy (and worksafe was such a circus) that many were opting out of worksafe cases altogether.

and another time my medical advisors and i fought for a physiatrist in regards to my back. and then fought for a worksafe expedited pain management referral - and it happened. 2 simple things. and it was such a drama for worksafe to do so. but they relented.

ive seen many people who were stuck in the hamster wheel of occupational rehab who were there more than once. this showed me 2 things. worksafe doesnt care about your underlying or real condition. they just wanna treat you within the confines of the treatment they advocate for. and the physio field is in worksafes pocket - getting residual income indefinitely and full classes. win/win for both of them. physios know that they cant make any real difference anyways - there will be some 2nd year doctor in richmond who will find a precedence for saying no. its a great scam if you can have one. oh - and in the weekly class you learn that pain is just a word. so quit your whining.

anyways its too bad that this person didnt have the support and went off the rails. i guess he should have just sucked it up and worked the rest of his life in pain with his body drastically changed. thats how the system is rigged. and 90 percent fall off the wayside because of it. you go back to the employer. you cant do your job effectively. get laid off or fired. burn out on medical EI while you appeal. and get back in the wheel again. meanwhile someone i know OR program complains about a knee (that may well have been an old sports injury) and worksafe cuts him a 16 k check to write off the injury.
the capitalist idea of liberty is that one persons right to profit can be greater than another persons right to live.

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Re: Injustice to Injured Workers

Postby soupy » Jan 10th, 2019, 7:53 am

burnedatstake wrote:i read this thread and i see a lot of cynicism which is too bad. and that has tainted the process in my opinion. in reading the responses i see something that rings true. if you are injured you cant rely on others or the process. not a union rep or anyone. you have to be proactive yourself. its not personal - its business. and business is geared for worksafe to come out on top so the worker can get their bonus.
Please let me know what "bonus" you are referring to. A WorkSafe worker receiving a bonus? That doesn't happen.

once my medical advisors and i fought for surgery on an ankle/achillies and it happened. the physio fantasy wasnt cutting the mustard. my specialist even did the ankle surgery with the achillies despite worksafes firm objection. the specialist found it absurd that worksafe was asking him to risk my life twice putting me under anesthesia 2 separate times.
Allergies to anesthesia? Or just assume its completely risking your life to go under?
once under worksafe and once under bc med after i went through the OR hamsterwheel for the achillies. it was the same recovery schedule as the achillies anyways. he expressed to me that many specialists were so busy (and worksafe was such a circus) that many were opting out of worksafe cases altogether.

and another time my medical advisors and i fought for a physiatrist in regards to my back. and then fought for a worksafe expedited pain management referral - and it happened. 2 simple things. and it was such a drama for worksafe to do so. but they relented.

ive seen many people who were stuck in the hamster wheel of occupational rehab who were there more than once. What about the many people that are succesful after occupational rehab? Especially those that know an injury may be something you have to life with your life.
this showed me 2 things. worksafe doesnt care about your underlying or real condition. they just wanna treat you within the confines of the treatment they advocate for. and the physio field is in worksafes pocket - getting residual income indefinitely and full classes. win/win for both of them. physios know that they cant make any real difference anyways Physio sure helped my knee injury. Infact it prevented me from having to have a surgery ...- there will be some 2nd year doctor in richmond who will find a precedence for saying no. its a great scam if you can have one. oh - and in the weekly class you learn that pain is just a word. so quit your whining. This is correct. Pain tolerance if different for everyone. Just because something "hurts", does not mean a person cannot fullfill employment.

anyways its too bad that this person didnt have the support and went off the rails.
The article gives no mention of the support. So perhaps they indeed had all the support needed and chose not to follow. IE. They even state they were sent to multiple specialists, which sounds like support!
i guess he should have just sucked it up and worked the rest of his life in pain with his body drastically changed. thats how the system is rigged. and 90 percent fall off the wayside because of it. you go back to the employer. you cant do your job effectively. get laid off or fired. burn out on medical EI while you appeal. and get back in the wheel again. meanwhile someone i know OR program complains about a knee (that may well have been an old sports injury) and worksafe cuts him a 16 k check to write off the injury.
Please explain how they were cut a check for 16k? Would this have been a permanent disability award that is carefully calculated based on injury, range of montion, current wage and future prognosis?
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