LMR decision-making process
A worker complained to the Commission about the process followed to consider travel expenses related to her labour market re-entry program (LMR).
The worker was nearing completion of the upgrading portion of her LMR plan when she married. She notified the WSIB and the LMR service provider of her intent to move to a different city. The claims adjudicator verbally agreed to allow travel expenses for the balance of the upgrade. However, the adjudicator wanted to review the plan amendment before deciding travel expense eligibility for the next phase of the plan.
Without notice to the worker, a new adjudicator was assigned. When the new adjudicator reviewed the plan amendment, she denied payment for all travel expenses as the worker had moved voluntarily. The worker felt she was unfairly disadvantaged since she had told the WSIB of her intent to move and had already moved before learning about the potential adverse impact. And, she was now unable to afford the travel expenses to complete the LMR program leading to her suitable employment or business (SEB) goal.
The worker contacted the manager, who upheld the denial decision. The worker appealed the denial but she also contacted the Commission about what she perceived as an unfair decision-making process.
The Commission spoke with the manager about the apparent lack of notice. The manager reviewed the file and agreed that the WSIB had not properly informed the worker about the full impact her move would have on her LMR program. The original decision was restored. The manager arranged a conference call with the claims adjudicator and the worker to discuss the decision. The worker was referred to the service provider to explore more affordable options for the final phase of the LMR plan. The manager also planned to discuss the worker’s case with her team to review the protocol to follow when a worker in an LMR program reports a change of address.