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Established in 1985, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) is the final level of appeal to which workers and employers may bring disputes concerning workplace safety and insurance matters in Ontario. WSIAT has always been separate from and independent of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

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  Decision 2086 13
12/20/2013
J. Lang - B. Wheeler - J. Crocker

  • Work transition plan (older worker)
  • Board Directives and Guidelines (work transition plan) (older worker)

A 59-year-old labourer suffered a low back injury in September 2008, for which he was granted a 19% NEL award. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer finding that work as a retail sales clerk was a suitable occupation for the worker and that the worker was capable of working full-time in that occupation.
The Board had originally identified a suitable occupation as a customer service representative but changed it to retail sales clerk because the original SO would have required additional training. The Panel accepted the joint submission of the parties that work as a retail sales clerk was a suitable occupation for the worker but that the worker was only capable of working in that occupation for four hours per day.
Board Operational Policy Manual, Document No. 19-03-05, regarding work transition plans, has an option for workers who are 55 years of age or older who require a work transition plan in order to achieve employment in a suitable occupation with a new employer. Such workers have the option of participating in a WT plan aimed at achieving the SO, or choosing a 12-month transition plan focused on self-directed work reintegration. When a worker chooses the self-directed option, full LOE benefits continue for the 12-month period. Upon completion of the self-directed plan, LOE benefits are based on the identified SO. The self-directed plan is in conjunction with an irrevocable no-review option payable to age 65.
In this case, the worker had accepted the self-directed option. The Panel found that the finding that the worker was only capable of work for four hours per day as a retail sales clerk was not in conflict with the no-review provisions in the policy. The issue in this case was the identification of the SO and the determination of the number of hours the worker was capable of working. The issue did not involve the worker having chosen the self-directed plan with the irrevocable no-review option. The policy directs the Board to calculate the LOE benefits based on the SO after completion of the self-directed plan. The Panel directed the Board to make this calculation in accordance with the finding that the worker was capable of four hours work per day in the SO.
The appeal was allowed in part.