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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 1761 15
9/3/2015
B. Kalvin

  • Consequences of injury (iatrogenic illness) (medication)
  • Dependency benefits (death results from an injury)
  • Board Directives and Guidelines (health care) (drugs) (severely disabled worker)

The worker suffered a hand injury in 1994. In Decision No. 1817/98, the Tribunal found that the worker had entitlement for chronic pain disability. The Board then granted the worker a 50% NEL award for the chronic pain disability, later increased to 60%. In Decision No. 35/09, the Tribunal found that the worker did not have entitlement for dementia. The worker died in 2008. The worker's estate now appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying entitlement for survivor benefits. The worker died of a cardiac condition. One of the medications taken by the worker (Quetiapine) contributed significantly to the heart condition that caused the worker's death. However, that medication was for the non-compensable dementia, not for the compensable chronic pain disability. When the worker's NEL award was increased to 60%, he became entitled to a personal care allowance and an independent living allowance. When the worker started taking the medication, the Board began reimbursing the worker for its cost, because of a practice, for workers with NEL awards of 60% or higher, to reimburse for all medications, whether for compensable or non-compensable conditions. This, however, did not change the fact that the dementia was not a compensable condition. Accordingly, any secondary condition resulting from use of that medication was not compensable. The estate was not entitled to survivor benefits. The appeal was dismissed.