Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 2610 15
S. Martel
  • Board Directives and Guidelines (interest)
  • Interest (pre-1990 accident)

The worker suffered a knee injury in 1976. In 2011, the Board granted the worker a 3% pension retroactive to the date of the accident, with an increase to 5% in 2003, to 8% in 2006 and to 12% in 2010. The worker appealed a decision of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying payment of interest on the arrears.

Board policy provides for payment of interest on claims registered before January 1, 1990, only if the delayed payment is the result of a Board appeal level decision or a Tribunal decision overturning a prior decision.
The Vice-Chair agreed with Decision No. 15/09 that the payment of interest is discretionary and that the Board has established a policy as to how it will exercise its discretion. Absent exceptional circumstances, that policy applies in this case.
The Vice-Chair found no exceptional circumstances in this case. In 1978, the Board advised that worker that the medical information on file did not support a permanent disability assessment at that time. The letter also advised the worker that, if he disagreed with that result, he would have to submit medical evidence indicating why a permanent disability award was warranted. The worker did not contact the Board to object until 2010. Thus, this was not a case where the Board made an error or there was an oversight in conducting a recommended pension assessment.
There were some Tribunal decisions that have taken a broad interpretation of when a claim is registered and found that a claim is registered when the claim for permanent disability is made which, in this case, would be 2010. However, the Vice-Chair found that most Tribunal have concluded that the policy intends to differentiate between claims established before and after January 1990, and that the date when a claim is registered is the date that the claim file was established which, in this case, was in 1976.
The Vice-Chair concluded that the arrears related to a pre-1990 accident. There were no exceptional circumstances warranting payment of interest. The appeal was dismissed.