Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 255 12
27/02/2015
R. McCutcheon
  • Pensions (assessment) (disfigurement)
  • Permanent disability (disfigurement)

The worker suffered an extensive fracture in 1979 when he fell, striking his cheek bone against a jack. The Board granted a 3% pension for facial disfigurement. On appeal, the Appeals Resolution Officer increased the pension to 6%. The worker appealed to the Tribunal, claiming that the pension should be increased to 11%.

Board Operational Policy Manual, Document No. 15-04-07, contains four categories for disfigurement. Category 2 provides for a pension of 6% to 8% for substantial scarring, burns or disfigurement affecting the shape or function of facial features. Category 3 provides for a pension of 9% to 11% for major disfigurement which affects or partially obliterates the shape or function of facial features.
In this case, there was no visible deformity. The case focused on the effect of the injury on the function of the worker's facial features rather than the appearance. The worker's facial injury prevented the safe use of protective facial equipment worn at work and the effective use of medical equipment for treatment of his non-compensable sleep apnea.
On the evidence, the Vice-Chair found that the evidence demonstrated a substantial, but not major, effect on the functioning of the worker's facial features. The Vice-Chair increased the pension to 8% at the high end of Category 2.
The appeal was allowed in part.