This page is dedicated to injured workers who are not being paid by the WCB.
The most important thing after your workplace accident and after getting treatment, is making sure you and your family are taken care of.
This is suppose to be the job of the WCB, but most injured workers will agree that the WCBs are extremely pathetic at it. Some WCBs decisions for payment of benefits can take years.
Making its way through the WCB appeal process, and the WCB Tribunal appeal process.
The Meredith principles that started in Ontario in 1915, created the ideology that injured workers should not be a burden to their families or to society. Unfortunately for injured workers, the WCB has taken an extremely aggressive position against injured workers. The reason is that it saves the WCBs money, as well as employers.
The only ones that lose are injured workers who voices are rarely ever heard!
The classic example is that if you have or had a work place accident and was denied benefits for whatever reason, the WCB and the employer are in no way obligated to pay you while you wait for WCB decisions, WCB appeal decisions and WCB Tribunal decisions. Some decisions and appeal decisions can and have taken up to ten years or longer. Most injured workers are not paid anything while waiting and are forced into poverty. Knowing this some injured workers go back to work, hurt and in most cases, well before they are able or even medically capable. The reason injured workers do this, is fear of being put into poverty. Sadly, employers and the WCBs know this and regularly and routinely use this as an intimidating tool to force injured workers back to work regardless of concerns of safety or the type of work the injured worker does or can do. Their argument is that the worker can refuse it is unsafe, but if a work refuses they are starved out.
The point here is not to fall into the problem of accepting unacceptable work because you are afraid of living on the street.
It is my hope that some of this information may help injured workers while they are fighting the WCB. I have therefor compiled a list of government and non government programs available to low income people. This list is specific to Ontario Canada, but it will hopefully help you look for similar programs.
These are websites with a considerable amount of information for people with "Chronic Pain".
This is a very difficult thing, as it is very hard for the victim with the condition to recognize what they have, how to get proper treatment and care from their doctor let alone fight their WCB. The WCBs regularly and routinely denied claims by victims of workplace accidents with the above mentioned conditions. The general reasoning is that for a person who has this condition a level of trust is required. It is not like a typical physical injury where a physical condition can be measured objectively and is categorized as solely a mental condition, which is extremely difficult to prove. Ironically this is contrary to most WCB laws in Canada "where once a workplace accident is accepted a workplace injury is presumed, unless shown [proven] otherwise" . Typically as most victims of workplace accidents will attest, they find themselves having to prove their injuries, which is illegal. This is why victims of workplace accidents need to fight their WCBs and fight them hard! For more information on this, you can review the page entitled case law to see the law cases, which prove that the WCBs MUST always presume a victim of a workplace accident has suffered a workplace injury, if they have had an accepted workplace accident. Furthermore, if denying a claim they MUST use "objective measureable evidence" based decisions, when denying a claim. If you find this is the case then you need to fight back!
It goes without saying that probably the most difficult thing a victim of workplace accidents has to deal with is the mental stress of the injury and mental stress from having to deal with their employer and the WCBs.
Mental Health illness is one of the most unrecognized illnesses, yet it is the most devastating to the person, their family, and society. It is extremely important when you start feeling deeply depressed to see your family doctor, or a doctor to get help. Most Doctors have access to free resources as well as can prescribe helpful medications. If they do not know of any resources, then contact your local health services. In Canada a very good organization is the Canadian Mental Health Association.
There are many other similar organizations in many other countries that can point you in the right direction to get the help that is needed and sometimes even free of charge.
Also previously known as welfare.
Ontario Works - OW:
In Ontario this is called Ontario Works. This is where the government through social responsibility provides basic funding for people to live. (lets be honest, not really even basic help!).
When you apply you will have to sign and agree to a promise to repay any benefits the WCB gives you when and if you win your appeal. To apply contact your regional government office.
For information you can also click here.
Ontario Disability Support Program - ODSP:
Another program that is available through Ontario Works is the Disability Support program commonly known as ODSP.
For more information abut the ODSP program click here.
The problem with OW and ODSP is that both programs are based on household income, so if you live with anyone who has any income, you maybe denied based solely on this extra household income.
Did you know that approximately 4,441 people in Ontario on either OW or ODSP while awaiting WSIB or been denied WSIB. so don't think you are alone when applying, they are generally kinder than WSIB.
Food banks are available to anyone whether you are working or not, the only condition is that you financially qualify.
for more information in Canada click here.
Canada Pension Plan:
Again in Canada and in Ontario we have the Federal pension (retirement) programs, where if you are approaching age 65 you can apply for it.
For information click here.
The Canada Pension Plan also has a disability support program for people under age 65.
For more information click here.
Tax Benefit Programs:
As well as income replacement programs mentioned above you can also, in Canada, apply for government tax benefit programs.
Note: that they will not automatically apply if you are low income, YOU HAVE TO APPLY FOR EACH ONE!
Child Tax Benefit:
This is a benefit if you have children under the age of 18. Even if you are receiving it, update Revenue Canada as to your change of income.
Working Income Tax Benefit:
This is for people in Canada that are deemed low income, this may apply to you if you are still working, but are forced to work considerably reduced hours because of your injury.
This is a tax benefit program to compensate low income people for the GST/HST.
For all the federal Tax benefit programs see the revenue Canada website for more information.
Go To School Retrain Yourself:
If you find that you have suffered a permanet injury and can no longer be able to perform your preinjury job. Then you may need to look at retraining on your own especially if the WCB and your employer are unwilling to help you or if you are waiting on the lengthy appeal decisions.
The College/University application process is a bit complex and I will walk you through it here.
Do not go to Private Colleges or Universities:
What to do?
The first thing you need to figure out is:
1. What you have:
What is your education you have already achieved (high school diploma, some high school, etc.)
If you do not have a high school diploma or even attended high school Don't give up!
There is correspondence programs that you can take for example in Ontario there is the ILC which is very affordable and offers individual credits or the whole high school program. their website can be found by clicking here.
If you are not from Ontario you can always contact your local school board and inquiry of they have any correspondence programs that they recognize.
2. What you want.
After you know what you have, you need to figure out what you want? by this I mean imagine you can do anything you want as a career, what is it? maybe talk to people find out the education and physical working conditions.
A helpful thing is the National Occupational Code Index or NOC for short.
This is helpful if you like something but don't know what the education, physical working requirements or average earnings are.
This is put together by the Federal Government in Canada, but search your government website to find something as similar and helpful.
to see the NOC webpage click here.
Remember there is no law that says older people can not go back to school! In fact, I have personally found all the professors I have come across and students have been very kind and helpful!
Maybe look at your work injury as a golden opportunity to make a great change in your life!
So now you know what you have and what you want to do.
Now you need to figure out whether you want College or University (Ontario only).
From this you will need to contact the local College or University to find out what you need to be accepted. If you have all the prerequisite courses from high school then you can apply. If you need some or several courses then look at schooling DON'T GIVE UP! Go back to step one and consider the correspondence courses or fulltime high school.
3. Apply to College/University
Then next step once you meet the requirements for the program is to officially apply.
If you live in Ontario, you can apply to the Ontario Colleges through the Ontario Colleges application website.
To apply for Ontario College click here.
If you live in Ontario, you can apply to the Ontario Universities through the Ontario University application website.
For information about applying click here.
To apply for Ontario University click here.
4. Apply for Financial Aid:
Even if you think you can afford to attend College or University in Ontario without Student Loans you should still apply for the grants.
Government Student Loans
Are interest free that are paid back once you graduate.
Repayments do not start until six months after you graduate and if you can not find work you can apply for student loan repayment assistance.
In Ontario to apply for financial aid, apply directly online at the OSAP website which can be done by clicking here.
Government Student Grants
Are money given to students to help them attend school and are NOT paid back.
School Grants & Bursaries
Once you have been accepted to the College or University make sure you apply for the school grants and bursaries.
Most regions in Canada have some form of housing subsidy.
You can apply through your local regional municipality.
There are many different types: co-op housing, affordable housing, rent subsidy.
Housing Arrears Program:
In some Municipalities they have a special fund called a "Rent bank".
This is for people that are on the verge of eviction by their landlord.
This program if you qualify pays all your arrears to stop the eviction.
In Ontario, they just implemented a new subsidy program for low income people to help with the hydro bills.
For more information click here.
Attendant Subsidy program:
Direct Funding is Available province wide, the Direct Funding Program enables adults with physical disabilities to receive monthly funds for attendants of their own choosing, to schedule as they please - whether their needs are at home, at work, or in the community. Individuals self-manage their lives, making their own choices with greater flexibility and control. for more information go to their website http://www.dfontario.ca/
Well that is all the programs I can think of right now, but if you know of any to help injured workers, complete the contact form on the contact page and let me know, so I can add it here.