Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 587 20
M. Keil
  • Interest (pre-1990 accident)
  • Board Directives and Guidelines (interest) (pre-1990 accident) (overturning decision)

The worker sought interest on a 15% PD pension benefit awarded in January of 1999.

The worker's claim was originally denied in 1989. A Board investigation occurred in 1995. An ARO in October 1998 rejected the Claims Adjudicator's decision to deny and directed the Board obtain a medical consultation to review the claim. The ARO did so by way of a letter/memo to the Board. Although it was not a formal decision format, the operating area found entitlement within two weeks of the ARO's memo. An assessment was performed and the worker was awarded a PD of 15% in January 1999.
The Vice-Chair found that although not provided in the format of a formal decision, the ARO's analysis and explicit directives in the memo, were akin to a decision for the purpose of applying Board policy on interest payments. The ARO's directions were not discretionary, they were a decision that had to be implemented.
Construing the "decision" criteria broadly in this way fits with the mandate to place workers in the same financial position that they would have been in had the Board originally made the appropriate decision. The worker's injury occurred in 1984. Until the ARO's 1998 memorandum altered the course of the Board's handling, the Board had not made the appropriate decision.
The worker was entitled to interest from January 6, 1989 until the payment issue date. The policy specifically limits the application of interest to the date of the first standard payment, or January 6, 1989, whichever is later.