Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1761 15
03/09/2015
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.