Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1001 21
K. Iima - M. Falcone - K. Hoskin
  • Future economic loss {FEL} (review) (final)
  • Labour market re-entry {LMR} (adequacy of program)

The worker injured his left index finger in 1990 while working as a carpenter. He subsequently received entitlement for a left wrist injury and psychotraumatic disability. He was provided with labour market re-entry (LMR) services for the SEB of Construction Engineer. At the final FEL review in May 2003, the adjudicator concluded that the SEB remained suitable and calculated FEL benefits based on average wages for a fully experienced worker. The worker appealed decisions of the Appeals Resolution Officer denying entitlement to further LMR services and confirming the FEL quantum at final review.

The appeal was dismissed.
Board policy provides that, in general, workers are only entitled to one LMR assessment and plan. None of the exceptions in the policy applied to the worker. There was no evidence that the worker's restrictions for the left hand were increased or changed in any significant way due to the recognized left wrist injury. There was no evidence that the left wrist impairment prevented him from working in the SEB or in any of the other related occupations in which he had secured gainful employment. While the worker believed that a two-year college program would have provided him with better direction to start a new career, there was no evidence that such a program would have significantly increased his job opportunities. Moreover, the worker was successful in starting a new career and obtaining gainful employment. Aside from one five-year period, the worker was successful in eliminating any loss of earnings. Finally, a further LMR plan would not be cost effective for the Board as the worker was 71 years old and was only entitled to FEL benefits until the age of 65.
With respect to the FEL quantum, the worker objected to the use of median wages for an experienced worker in the SEB, rather than higher wages. However, the use of higher wages would have effectively resulted in a smaller FEL award. The worker had also received a FEL award despite not having a wage loss for most of the period in question.
The panel did not have jurisdiction to consider the issue of a review of FEL benefits after entitlement for psychotraumatic disability was granted in 2007, as this issue had not been considered at the Board.