|WCB Hints - home|
Don't get hurt at work but if you do these hints
might just help you secure your claim.
Report to first-aid immediately – Paragraph 1 of the WCB act requires that the worker report to the employer “as
soon as practicable” and may disallow a claim if this is not done. As well, unreasonable delay from injury time until
report time will be investigated (unreasonable in the company’s judgment).
This will result in a probable denial of your claim.
On the first aid report – try and remember one incident or a combination of incidents that were responsible for your injury.
A vague first-aid report of “I’m not sure what happened, it was a busy day” will result in a probable denial, or at least Kruger will ask for an investigation into the injury.
Put down witnesses if someone saw you hurt yourself. Make notes for yourself so that you can recall the incident later
Go to your doctor as soon as you can.
Go to Emergency/Clinic if you can’t see your doctor. WCB has said – “any time a lapse of more than 2 or 3 days between the first-aid report and the doctor’s
visit occurs this will probably result in a denial.
Go to recommended therapy (if required), on a regular basis.
Report back to first-aid every day you work and your injury still hurts.
A clear track record of help from the first-aid report on will help secure your claim if you suddenly have to go off work.
If the caseworker calls you or comes in for a workplace assessment and asks you about your outside activities, you must co-operate, but be careful of your answers.
WCB and the company will try to relate your outside activities to your injury.
Example – Tendonitis in your elbow – “I play tennis.”
Contact the union office. We need to know so we can send a representative with you and the caseworker.
As well we need to send in representative forms in to help you deal with your claim.
Know that when you sign the WCB form giving them disclosure of your medical records, you are giving them access to ALL of your medical information,
even things that are not related to your injury.
If you want a claim you must sign this, but be aware of what it means. You can direct your Doctor to give out only relevant information but you may get denied by the Doctor.
We will fight this if need be.
Telling your foreman you’re hurt but not going to first-aid will not get you a claim. If your condition gets worse and you go off any claim will be denied.
Be sure to report to first-aid before going on days off (Do not think that you will recover with rest).
Do not use vacation time or earned time off as a means of recuperation.
My Old WCB1 Injury is So Bad I Can`t Work
What do I do now?
If you have an old work-related injury that you are receiving a WCB pension for, and you are continuing to work, the pension you are getting is likely a PFI
(permanent functional impairment) pension and it is meant to compensate you for the odd day here and there that you may miss due to the injury.
The WCB calls this “normal fluctuations” of the condition.
So for example if you have a 5% pension for a back injury you had some years ago, you would not go back to the WCB to seek wage loss benefits if you missed
two days from work due to a minor flare-up.
If however your back gets so bad that you are off for the next 3 months, or if it gets so bad that you will never work again, this is called a “reopening.”
In this case you need to see your doctor FIRST. You need to have the support of your doctor in order to get a reopening.
Your doctor should be prepared to use the magic WCB words, that there has been a “significant change” in your condition; that is, that it is something
beyond the normal fluctuations to be expected, and for which you got your PFI pension.
Here's an example:
Shirley has a 2.5% PFI pension for chronic pain in her right arm. She got modified duties at work and while she does suffer with pain and takes pain
medications, she has managed to continue working for the last 4 years.
Over a few weeks however Shirley’s arm has started aching more than usual. If it is just sore for a day or two, that will not get her a reopening, but Shirley needs to
keep working and her arm gets worse and worse. She goes to her family physician who says she needs to take two weeks off to rest the arm and get physiotherapy.
At the end of two weeks her arm is no better and her doctor sends in a Physician’s Progress Report saying that Shirley needs to see a specialist and
asking the WCB to expedite an appointment.
Legally, it’s still the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB).
In 2002, sweeping changes were made to the workers’ compensation system (see our paper: Insult to Injury), which significantly reduced benefits for
It was at that time the WCB rebranded itself to be “WorkSafeBC”, which is a marketing name, not a legal name.
For us, “WorkSafeBC” represents the erosion of benefits for injured workers and the name, in our opinion, puts an onus on workers to ‘work safe’ rather than on employers to provide
safe work. So for us, it remains the WCB.