Older Worker Option: Work Transition

A worker’s representative contacted the Commission to complain that his client was unreasonably denied the WSIB’s Older Worker Option.

The injured worker was a 60 year old former press operator with a degenerative condition in his right knee. He had been off work since May, 2010. In December 2011, the WSIB re-assessed the medical information and determined that the worker was only partially disabled and, therefore, employable. Since the worker’s accident employer was no longer in business, the WSIB’s assessment identified the job of Call Centre Information Clerk as a suitable occupation (SO) for the worker.

The worker appealed both the employability and SO decisions: he felt that his age, lack of transferable skills and the conditions in the labour market all suggested he would not be able to find work.

Meanwhile, his representative requested the Older Worker Option to allow the worker to establish a self-directed transition plan to achieve an agreed-upon SO. The WSIB advised the representative that the request could not be considered, or offered, unless the worker withdrew his appeal.

A Commission specialist discussed the Older Worker policy and the legislation with the manager. The WSIB arranged to meet with the worker and his representative to review the matter. At the meeting, the worker advised that he was ready to participate in work transition and the WSIB offered him the Older Worker Option.

The worker and his representative were pleased with the outcome.