Rarely, do I discuss something here on Life with Lynnie (LwL). However, today I'll be doing it.
What is it?
On Facebook, I saw an article by rankandfile.ca entitled, WSIB ignoring workplace chronic mental illness: http://rankandfile.ca/2016/11/22/wsib-ignoring-chronic-mental-stress/.
If you clicked on the link, and read the article, you will have seen what I am about to share with you (yes, I copied/pasted):
Until 1998, Ontario worker’s compensation system compensated workers with mental health injuries, whether they were chronic, acquired over time, or acute, from a traumatic event. For many years, the basic principles of workers compensation allowed workers who suffered from conditions such as major depressive disorder, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder because of their work were entitled to benefits.
This remained true until the late 1990s, when then Minister of Labour Elizabeth Witmer and the Mike Harris Conservatives passed Bill 99. This bill made a number of negative changes to workers’ compensation, including removing coverage for chronic mental stress. Elizabeth Witmer is now Chair of the WSIB’s Board of Directors.
Specifically, Bill 99 limited coverage for mental health injuries to workers who had experienced traumatic mental stress. Under this new law, only mental stress injuries caused by “an acute reaction to a sudden and unexpected traumatic event…” were covered.
As a result, the WSIB does not accept any mental stress conditions that emerge over time. A worker who develops a psychological disorder after witnessing a traumatic event, such as a co-worker dying in a construction accident, would be entitled to benefits, while a worker who develops the same disorder after enduring years of harassment at work would not. This is different from how Ontario’s compensation law and policy treats physical injuries. Whether your physical injury is caused by a single event (like a broken limb), or emerges over time (like a repetitive strain injury), Ontario workers are entitled to compensation.
In 2014, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT), the final level of appeal from the WSIB, found the restriction on chronic mental stress injuries to be unconstitutional. It found that it was discriminatory to exclude chronic mental injuries from compensation and thus violated our fundamental right to equality. Ontario’s Attorney General decided not to appeal the decision to a higher court.
To me, what WSIB is doing now, is terrible for those who are suffering as injured workers.
However, I need to say that even though it claims that chronic mental stress was covered before the late 1990's, I am not sure it truly was.
Why do I think this?
Well, WSIB (called Workers Compensation, back in the 1980's), placed in my file that I was suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), after I had been injured when the school bus I was driving was hit by a tractor-trailer driver.
Did WSIB treat me, to heal me? No.
Did WSIB tell me that I was suffering from PTSD, so I could arrange medical and/or emotional care? No.
I only found out in 1999, when I was told to obtain a copy of my file. The file revealed this.
Did WSIB benefit me for having PTSD? No.
Nor did WSIB benefit me from having various physical problems.
Their application only allowed one (1) body part with injury. So, they used my neck, since I had whiplash.
They didn't care that I had dislocated shoulders, back problem, knee problem, broken toes, in addition to my chest being bruised for several months after it broke the steering wheel upon impact.
They also did not care that I obtained Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS), a rare form of Rheumatoid Arthritis (an auto-immune disease) due to having had spinal injury. Nor, Fibromyalgia.
Nor, did they care that I have had two (2) surgeries to repair my crushed jaw. Yes, I have four (4) screws and many pins in my face, since I was reconstructed through surgery.
Do I think they treated me differently than other injured workers? Absolutely, not.
In fact, I never received a pension, or retraining as their file says I should have received.
Plus, I've met so many other injured workers, who have suffered.
To me, it's heartbreaking that people suffer from work injury. Just as I have done.
However, God has helped me... every day of my life. And, has shown me that I will not suffer for eternity.
Just as we read, in Revelation 21:4, "And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away."
When our lives end, here on earth, and if we have salvation, we will spend eternity in Heaven with Him.
And, He shall wipe away all tears. There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
Knowing that I will spend eternity in Heaven with Him, I won't suffer the way I have done, here on earth.
Not just physically. But, also emotionally.
Plus, I know that God will deal with all those who do evil things to His children. Like WSIB has done to me. And, to others.
For this, I am truly grateful to Him. And, always will be.
Thank You, Lord!
Until next time...
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