Since your accident, have you been feeling down or anxious? Have you been experiencing low self-esteem? Have you become angrier? Do you suffer from nightmares or recurrent thoughts of the accident? Have you become home bound or even had thoughts of suicide? Workers should always report these symptoms to their doctor and seek treatment.
If you have experienced and continue to experience these types of changes in your mood or psychological health, then you may qualify for further benefits from the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board under the psychotraumatic disability policy.
The WSIB has a long standing policy that recognizes that some workers are seriously impacted psychologically as a result of their injuries. Many workers, unfortunately, do not seek active treatment and fail to discuss these matters with their family doctor because of the stigma of being labeled “mentally ill”. Often, the psychological reaction to an injury is intertwined with the physical injury. So long as the worker suffers physically they will continue to be depressed or anxious about their future. The two often work hand-in-hand making recovery somewhat difficult.
WSIB Policy states that the condition must have: “manifested itself within 5 yeas or the date of injury or within 5 years of the last surgical intervention”. Benefits may be payable “if it is evident that a diagnosis of psychotraumatic disability/impairment is attributable or related to an injury or a condition resulting from a work-related injury. Entitlement may also be granted if the psychotraumatic disablement is shown to be an indirect result of the physical injury”, or “is shown to be due to extended disablement and to non-medical, socio-economic factors, the majority of which can be directly and clearly related to the work related injury”.
If the condition is found to be permanent, you would be entitled to a non-economic loss award. Often entitlement to psychotraumatic disability impacts your ability to work and may have an impact on Work Transition plan and your level of employabillity. It is important to discuss these matters with your family doctor, lawyer and the WSIB since these issues can alter the resulting decisions and benefits at WSIB.