Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 407 13
S. Martel
  • Chronic pain
  • Psychotraumatic disability

The worker suffered neck, shoulder and low back injuries in a fall. The Board granted a 15% NEL award for neck impairment. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying ongoing entitlement for the low back, including entitlement for chronic pain or psychotraumatic disability.

While there were organic findings to explain the worker's neck pain, there were no organic findings to explain the low back pain. The worker did not have entitlement to a NEL assessment for the ongoing low back pain on an organic basis. The main ongoing problem was pain. The worker also had psychiatric problems but many of those were non-compensable. Given the extent of the non-compensable factors affecting the worker's psychiatric disability, the worker's ongoing compensable condition was best compensated as a chronic pain disability. The appeal was allowed in part.