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Established in 1985, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) is the final level of appeal to which workers and employers may bring disputes concerning workplace safety and insurance matters in Ontario. WSIAT has always been separate from and independent of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

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  Decision 1229 12
2/11/2013
R. McCutcheon

  • Future economic loss {FEL} (multiple injuries)

The worker suffered a compensable injury in 1993, for which he was granted a 23% NEL award and a full FEL award. He also suffered compensable injuries in 1992 and 1996, although permanent impairment for those injuries was not recognized until later. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying FEL awards for either the 1992 or 1996 claims. Board Operational Policy Manual, Document No. 18-04-07, regarding blending of FEL benefits with other benefits, provides that FEL awards are to be determined independently of other benefits and that a worker may receive more than one FEL or LOE award. However, the policy does not require the payment of additional FEL benefits in separate claims unless such payment is justified by the provisions of s. 43 of the pre-1997 Act. Section 43 grants benefits for future loss of earnings resulting from an injury. In this case, the worker suffered no additional loss of earnings as he had no employment income in 2005 when he was assessed for the NEL awards for the other accidents. Accordingly, he was not entitled to additional FEL benefits. The Vice-Chair distinguished a number of other Tribunal decisions, which illustrated the potential application of the Board policy on blending benefits but did not provide authority for a further FEL award at a time when the worker has long since been unemployed and already in receipt of a full FEL award. The appeal was dismissed.