Moving quickly when needed

The WSIB told Mr. M, who was 57 and an inpatient at the Canadian Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH), that he had to attend an independent psychological assessment within 10 days or his benefits would be affected. Mr. M’s claim had been accepted in 2008 after he fell while carrying equipment. Psychological entitlement was later allowed for a major depressive disorder, and there was an additional claim for an injury to his hand. He had seven psychiatric admissions over the last few years. A recent physician review said he had spoken with hospital staff about plans to take his own life.

The legal clinic representing Mr. M was concerned that the extra assessment would delay his lock-in. He was already being assessed in the hospital admission under the Mental Health Act. Worried about him, the clinic phoned the Commission.

The Commission contacted an assistant director to ask if he could review the claim file immediately and, in particular, the letter about the independent assessment and deferral of the lock-in. A few days later the assistant director told the Commission the request for the independent psychological evaluation was not appropriate. The file would be referred back for review of Mr. M’s worsening psychological condition. He believed Mr. M was no longer in hospital.

When the Commission contacted the legal clinic they said Mr. M was back in CAMH. Police had taken him there as they thought he was determined to be a danger to himself. Commission staff relayed the information to the assistant director and asked for an update on the decision to defer the lock-in. The assistant director said their review found Mr. M’s condition to be work-related and there was no additional treatment that could ensure his return to work. The lock-in was completed at full loss of earnings.