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June 26 2009

Alberta WCB Accumulates Surplus By Illegally Cutting Off Claims

"There are many of these workers who simply give up fighting the system and commit suicide, apply for CPP disability or Social Assistance."

Return to Work Drives Successful Workers Compensation Results in Alberta, Canada

Alberta, Canada Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) Reports Statistics for 2008

“We are confident  in the long-term health of Alberta’s workers’ compensation system,” Chair of the Board, David Carpenter told stakeholders. “We are pleased to work closely with a management team who understands the value of planning today to provide support for our stakeholders tomorrow.”

By carefully charting  a clear long-term business strategy, WCB-Alberta and its partners faced the economic challenges of 2008 and successfully weathered the ups and downs of the global financial market.

The 2008 results  presented to stakeholders at its annual general meeting this month reportedly demonstrates the foundation of the workers’ compensation system in Alberta continues to remain strong and stable.

Despite an increase  in the number of Albertans covered by the workers’ compensation system in 2008 (to 1.8 million), overall injury rates decreased or remained stable. The unrelenting focus of the organization and its partners on return-to-work results drove this success, resulting in unprecedented outcomes. (Italics added)

Highlights from the WCB’s 2008 Annual Report include:

1. 93 per cent  of injured workers returned to the job
2. The time-lost  claim rate decreased to 1.8 per 100 workers
3. The disabling-injury  rate decreased to 3.4 per 100 workers
4. The system remained funded at 111.7%

“We’ve faced  a tough economy before, but we have never been in a better position to make it through,” Guy Kerr, WCB president and CEO told stakeholders. “The system is fully funded, we have strong partnerships in place, and our business is more focused than ever.” (workersxzcompxzkit).

Author:  Robert Elliott, J.D.

All sounds good statistically and you can fool some of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time. The fact of the matter still is that there are numerous workers whose claims and benefits are illegally denied and they are forced to go back to work they are no longer capable of doing. Disabling injuries are routinely denied and workers are deemed into jobs that do not exist or they do not have the ability to perform. There are many of these workers who simply give up fighting the system and commit suicide, apply for CPP disability or Social Assistance.

Does any one know who "WCB-Alberta and its partners" are other than the PC Government who turn a blind eye to the injustices that workers face when injured or killed on the job? Who are WCB and its partners other than the Alberta Government and employers who have successfully lobbied the Government to not proceed with re-hearing long outstanding claims which no doubt would have reduced the overall surplus as well as the 111.7% funding. WCB Alberta still does not have a chronic pain policy that results in awarding all workers the same equal benefits as directed by the Supreme Court which could become quite costly. It would seem that Mr. Carpenter does not have a clue what he is talking about as it is very easy to accumulate surpluses when you do not pay your debts.

Gerry Miller (longtime WCB critic)

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