Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 407 20
G. Dee
  • Loss of earnings {LOE} (calculation) (Canada Pension Plan)

A worker was permanently injured when he was struck in the head by a piece of metal. He was granted a 30% NEL award for his injuries. Decision No. 1851/17 granted the worker full LOE benefits on the basis of unemployability. When the WSIB implemented the Appeals Tribunal decision it offset the full amount of the worker's disability benefit payments he receives from CPP.

In this appeal the worker disputed the CPP offset of his LOE benefits.
The "general" rule in the Board's policy is that 100% of any CPP disability benefits paid in relation to the work-related injury will be offset from LOE benefits.
However, in addition to stating that the general rule is that a full offset of CPP disability benefits will take place, WSIB policy also contemplates that if non-compensable injuries or diseases contribute to the allowance of CPP disability benefits then apportionment between the impairments is required in order to reduce the level of the CPP offset. This apportionment is to be based upon "the medical significance of all contributing injuries/diseases."
The Vice-Chair agreed with Decision No. 1304/16 that a full offset of the CPP disability benefit is appropriate where the compensable impairment overwhelms or overshadows the effects of the non-compensable impairments in causing the worker's disability.
Both the worker's pre-injury impairment and compensable impairment in this case were caused by the result of traumatic injuries to the worker's head. Attempting to determine the relative contributions of both impairments to his inability to work was impossible. While the pre-existing condition continued to play a significant role, the worker was capable of performing employment with that impairment up to the time of his workplace accident. Without the occurrence of the workplace accident the worker would not have been entitled to the receipt of either LOE or CPP disability benefits.
OPM Document No. 18-01-13 provides in such situations that a 50% attribution be given for the CPP benefits.
The Vice-Chair granted the worker a 50% offset of CPP benefits.