first duty of the WCB is to treat injured workers fairly. The failure of WCB to
pay these disabled workers their allowances is a breach of the WCB's
responsibility of fairness under the legislation."
- Alex Taylor - (Injured
WCBs Erect Barriers To The
Barriers to Receiving Special Needs
Story covered by CBC's "Morning Edition" Wednesday, January 10,
2007 - " Fairness for workers. That's something a Saskatoon man says is in
short supply at the Workers Compensation Board. He says the board is neglecting
to pay injured workers all their benefits."
shortchanging disabled workers of special needs allowances.
examples are: - Independence Allowance (for needs such as hiring snow
removers, grass cutters etc.) - Personal Care Allowance - Clothing
Allowance - Permanent Functional Impairment Allowance (one time
Alex Taylor (injured workers consultant in Saskatchewan) says
that thousands of injured workers are not receiving these allowances.
"I estimate that there are about 5000 - 6000 disabled
workers in Saskatchewan alone who are not receiving proper benefits and their
entitlements can range from $500 to $47,000 each depending on their case."
- Alex Taylor
The problem, he says, is that injured workers
are required to apply for these special needs allowances separately. However,
WCB only advises them of these allowances by sending one pamphlet, and often,
the worker is in hospital or otherwise indisposed when they receive it.
Because they miss the notification for one reason or another, there are
thousands of disabled workers who don't even know about their entitlement to
" . . . we weren't even told anything about it and . . . for
me, I have a young family and . . . I have to hire people to do stuff for
me and now at least I can afford to pay them to help me. If it's been a long
term injury like the one I had, then you should be told about what you're
entitled to, especially when it's a fairly severe one like mine . . . I have no
use of my left hand at all." - injured worker
interviewed by CBC's James Parker on "The Morning Edition" January 10,
Alex Taylor says that he has already worked
on over 500 cases in Saskatchewan on this one issue alone and that some have
had to go to appeal four times before receiving the allowance.
Parker, reporting on the CBC's "Morning Edition" says that, amongst the injured
workers that Taylor has helped, they have collectively received over
$750,000.00 in back pay and Taylor estimates that there could still be millions
of dollars that are still owing to disabled workers in
George Rosenau (former head of the Workers Advocacy
Office) says this could be easily fixed if the WCB would review the files of
all disabled workers to see if they qualify for these allowances.
Federko, CEO of the Saskatchewan WCB says:
"We do our level best to advise workers of all entitlements
under the Workers compensation Act."
" . . . those people who believe that our purpose as an
organization is to deny claims, I don't believe has any justification at