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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 1608 14
12/2/2014
J. Lang - M. Trudeau - R. Briggs

  • Consequences of injury (iatrogenic illness) (treatment)
  • Health care (necessary)
  • Earnings basis (meal allowance)

The worker was an assistant manager at a restaurant. She suffered a neck injury in a compensable motor vehicle accident in January 2009, for which she was granted a 5% NEL award. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying entitlement for nerve block injections and denying inclusion of a meal allowance in her earnings basis. A meal allowance which is part of earnings is included in a worker's earnings basis. The Panel agreed with Decision No. 994/88I that, if a benefit is considered to be part of earnings, the cost to the employer should be used as the method for determining its value. In this case, the worker had free meals and beverages during her shift. However, there was no contractual arrangement that codified this practice. Further, there was no evidence of any records being kept which quantified the value of this perk. The Panel concluded that the arrangement was in the nature of a perk and did not constitute a meal allowance within the meaning of Board policy. The Panel concluded that the meals and beverages supplied to the worker should not be included in her earnings basis. The worker had entitlement for epidural nerve block injections prescribed by her doctor for treatment of pain symptoms resulting from the compensable injury. The worker contracted infectious meningitis as a result of the injections. Since the worker had entitlement for the injections, she also had entitlement for the meningitis as a secondary condition. The appeal was allowed in part.