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WSIB’s ‘devastating’ compensation policy all about board’s bottom line, lawyers charge

Some injured workers have had benefits cut by half since pre-existing conditions policy came into effect

Lawyers who represent people injured on the job in Ontario say a new policy introduced by the province’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is having a “devastating” effect on their clients, and accuse the board of unfairly cutting injured workers’ benefits in order to meet its own financial demands.

As CBC News reported Tuesday, injured Lanark County paramedic Dan O’Connor says he fears losing his home after the board slashed his benefits by half. O’Connor was ordered to resume a transitional training course despite debilitating back pain that makes it difficult for him to commute or sit in a classroom.

O’Connor’s case has shed light on what many of those who deal with the board are characterizing as a larger, systemic issue: they claim the WSIB routinely blames pre-existing medical conditions for exacerbating workers’ injuries, using that as an excuse to slash their compensation.

“It’s ridiculous,” said retired lawyer Ron Ellis, who served for 12 years as chair of the board’s appeals tribunal.

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