Lock-in decision reviewed and loss of earnings (LOE) payments retroactively restored

The worker had received full loss of earnings (LOE) payments because of two failed back surgeries and compensable depression. In 2017, he contacted the Commission to complain that the WSIB reduced his payments at the 72-month lock-in date and deemed him able to work full-time. The worker told the Commission that the WSIB had not considered his psychological restrictions or his doctor’s recommendations.

The Commission’s review found that the WSIB had tried several times over the years to engage the worker in work transition (WT) services, but failed. Possible jobs identified by the WSIB — production clerk or self-serve gas station attendant — were unsuitable for the worker, who had medical restrictions. When the worker reached maximum medical recovery for his injuries in 2007, the WSIB allowed permanent impairment awards — 29 per cent for lower back and 14 per cent for depression.

The Commission contacted the WSIB manager about the decision-making process to determine whether the worker’s psychological limitations had been considered. The manager told the Commission that the WSIB would review the WT plan and the worker’s level of impairment.

As a result of the Commission’s inquiries, the WSIB decided the worker could not work due to his physical and psychological limitations. The lock-in decision was reviewed and full LOE payments were restored retroactively.