Benefits threatened for worker’s “non-cooperation”

Complainant: Electrician

Problem: Work Transition Plan not suitable for single parent with learning disability.

Resolution: Suitable training program ordered and support provided.

A single parent of three children turned to the Commission after the WSIB said he would receive no benefits if he did not participate in the Work Transition Plan set up for him. The worker argued that the computer-aided design course was a poor fit for him because of his documented learning disability and poor computer skills.

The former electrician further argued the program schedule and location – nearly an hour’s drive from his hometown – did not take into account his parenting obligations.

The worker and WSIB staff met and discussed his objections. Still, he was directed to follow through or see his benefits reduced to zero for non-cooperation. Following the Commission’s inquiries, the WSIB placed him in a program better suited to the worker’s skills, abilities, and personal circumstances. As per WSIB policy, he suffered no loss of benefits during the brief period of time he was unable to participate in the plan to retrain and return to work. He received psychological support and after a month, was able to resume his program.