Highlights of Noteworthy Decisions

Decision 1659 22
E. Smith - J. Gallant - S. Roth
  • Board Directives and Guidelines (commutation)
  • Commutation
  • Merits and justice
  • Pensions (lump sum)

The worker appealed the denial of a commutation of his pension award for his left hip.

The appeal was denied.
OPM Document No. 18-07-06, "Lump Sum (Commutations)," is the applicable Board policy. This policy states: "Permanent disability benefits are normally paid in the form of periodic monthly payments. The WSIB may, however, in its discretion, commute in whole or part the permanent disability benefit to a worker." The policy states that commutation requests made for purely financial reasons do not conform to the intent of the policy. To be granted under the policy, a request for commutation: a) must be intended for a specific rehabilitation purpose; b) alternative resources are not available for the intended purpose; c) the commutation must not jeopardize the applicant's ability to meet ongoing financial obligations; and, d) counselling must first be explored.
The Panel concluded that the facts of the case did not fall within the terms of the Board policy for commutations. It was stated that financial concerns are stipulated as an allowable basis for commutation only if they are for a rehabilitative purpose which will enable a worker to obtain employment. This was not the case here.