Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 766 14
A. Patterson
  • Supplements, transitional provisions (multiple supplements)

The worker suffered a left knee injury in 1979, for which he was granted a 5% pension, increased to 15% in 1988, to 18% in 1992 and to 21% in 1998. He suffered a low back injury in 1982, for which he was granted a 15% pension, increased to 25% in 1989, and to 30% in 1998. The Board granted the worker supplementary benefits related to the 1982 claim under s. 147(4) of the pre-1997 Act. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying supplementary benefits for the 1979 claim.

Board policy allows for payment of more than one supplement in specific circumstances. The Vice-Chair reviewed Tribunal case law on the issue. The Vice-Chair agreed with Decision No. 2373/12 that the likely intent of the legislation was that only one supplement would be payable with respect to a worker's cumulative disabilities when the worker was assessed for a supplement. Only one award is appropriate with respect to pension awards that were payable prior to the granting of the first s. 147(4) award. There is a sequential requirement that multiple supplements can only be granted when each supplement has its own triggering loss under separate claims and, further, each wage loss must be at least partially related to the claim for which the supplement is paid.
In this case, the worker was assessed on a whole person basis when the Board considered the supplement in 1991. He had already stopped working permanently at that time. Any subsequent increases knee pension, regardless of whether they were retroactive, cannot be said to result in a further erosion in his earning capacity such as to trigger entitlement to a further supplement.
The appeal was dismissed.