Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1226 14
A. Patterson - S. Sahay - M. Ferrari
  • Earnings basis (net average earnings) (income tax)
  • Future economic loss {FEL} (review) (after sixty months)
  • Permanent impairment {NEL} (redetermination) (significant deterioration) (worsening date)

The worker suffered a hand injury in 1991, for which he was granted a NEL award for organic and non-organic impairment. In Decision No. 453/00, the Tribunal found that the worker was entitled to an R2 FEL award based on earnings at minimum wage.

In this decision, the Panel adjusted the permanent worsening date for one of the worker's NEL award increases and confirmed the permanent worsening date as determined by the Board for the second NEL award increase.
The Board determines a worker's FEL benefit using the worker's income tax net exemption code in calculating net average earnings. Board policy provides that, if the net exemption code changes, the updated code is only used when the Board conducts a further review of the FEL benefit. In this case, the R2 FEL date was in September 1997. The worker got married in 2000. Since the worker got married after the final R2 review, the Board would not change the net exemption code. The Panel noted, however, that the Board conducted a further FEL review in 2006 after significant deterioration of the worker's condition. The Panel concluded that change in marital status on the net exemption code should take effect as of the date of the FEL review in 2006.