A plain language guide to the mental stress transition rules

[Note: this is a slightly revised version of a paper I presented to the OBA Workers’ Compensation Section’s 2018 annual conference, A New Era in Workplace Safety and Insurance Law.]

In 2017, the Ontario government removed the bar against mental stress claims under the WSIA, replacing it with a new provision ex­press­ly allowing workers to claim benefits for mental stress injuries.

These amendments came into force on January 1, 2018, but they also have a limited retroactive effect. The government enacted a set of transition rules setting out how the WSIB and the WSIAT will deal with the claims and appeals of workers who suffered a mental stress injury before January 1, 2018.

The transition rules are written in dense technical prose. This post is an attempt to untangle them and explain them in plain language. Continue reading

The WSIB’s internal documents on adjudicating mental stress claims

We entered a new era in the compensation of work-related mental disorders on January 1st this year:

After less than five months of the new regime, I still don’t know a great deal about how the WSIB is applying these policies in practice.

To increase my understanding, in April I made a freedom of information request for all of the WSIB’s internal documents giving its decision-makers advice, guidance or direction about adjudicating claims under the new policies.

In May, the WSIB granted my request, and disclosed over 400 pages of documents.

I haven’t had time to go through the material in detail yet. When I do, I’ll  publish a post (or two) analyzing the most important documents.

However, I want to make the documents available immediately to any injured worker or advocate who may be interested in them. Therefore, I’ve bundled them into a .zip file which you can download by clicking this link. (Note: it’s a 19 MB file that downloads automatically.)

Enjoy responsibly!

This blog contains general information and should not be relied on as legal advice in an individual case. If you need advice about a WSIB claim or appeal, please visit the website of my law office, asingletonlaw.ca, and book a consultation.