WCB’s lump sum policy amended

Following a public consultation, the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board has amended its lump sum and advances policy.

Following a public consultation, the Yukon Workers’ Compensation Health and Safety Board has amended its lump sum and advances policy.

It affects about 30 workers who were injured before 1993.

The changes ensure the policy does not apply to applications received before March 29, 2005, and that it now provides workers who receive lump sums with annuities at age 65.

The public consultation ended March 24.

The board reviewed all the recommendations it received, and implemented some of the suggestions.

“After reviewing the submissions, we did not implement all of the recommendations we received,” board chair Craig Tuton said in a release.

“In light of the recent Yukon Supreme Court decision, we have concluded the conditions in the policy are supported by the objectives of the Workers’ Compensation Act.

“We believe the conditions are reasonable and balance the needs and interests of workers with our fiduciary responsibility to the compensation fund.”

Last year, an appeal tribunal took the board to court, asking it to nullify the board-enacted policy forcing the 30 workers to take their compensations month by month.

The court decision, dated January 2005, deemed the board’s policy legitimate, but invalid, because the board did not follow its own rules in enacting it.

Injured workers have a right to ask for, but not an unfettered right to receive, a lump-sum payment, Supreme Court Justice Ron Veale said in his written decision.

“It is my view that once the worker has made a written request for a lump-sum payment, the board must exercise its discretion under the policy existing at the time of request,” said Veale.

“To rule otherwise permits the board to delay a decision indefinitely without having the express power to do so and to change the rules of the game that apply to the worker applying for a lump-sum payment.”

However, the board’s conditions are “designed to ensure the worker has the ability to manage a lump sum as the worker cannot go back to the board if the lump sum is mismanaged or lost. The latter outcome would surely be a disaster for both the worker and the board,” said Veale.

Until 1992, injured workers who qualified for compensation could apply for lump-sum payouts.

The following year, the board amended its legislation, but several disabled workers were grandfathered under the old rules.

If they had stable, independent sources of income, if they had a specific purpose for the money, if they were in reasonable health, and if they had sought financial counseling, they could ask to be paid out.

“These advances will be made only in circumstances where it can be determined that the claimant’s long-term financial security will not be compromised,” says a board policy statement.

The board has received applications from 11 workers since 1999, four of whom applied after the consultations started.

So far, four workers have received lump sums.

Although the compensation packages vary, some are in the neighbourhood of $500,000.

Injured workers who think they might qualify for a lump-sum payout are encouraged to contact the board.

Just Posted

A high streamflow advisory has been issued for the Nordenskiold and Klondike Rivers on May 11. Photo by Yukon Protective Services
Nordenskiold, Klondike rivers see rising water levels; advisory issued

Following the river-ice breakup, flows have continued to rise on Nordenskiold and Klondike River systems, said a release by the Emergency Measures Organization.

Tuja Dreyer, of the Ross River Dena Council, won the 2020 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sports. (Photo by Doris Dreyer)
Tuja Dreyer wins 2020 Premier’s Awards for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sports

Tuja Dreyer, of the Ross River Dena Council, is one of six athletes to win the award

Mike Thomas/Yukon News file
A fox runs across the street at Main Street and Third Avenue.
A new project seeks to learn more about Whitehorse fox populations

A new project to monitor and improve the understanding of urban foxes living in Whitehorse will begin this year

The Fireweed Market in Shipyards Park will open on May 13. Joel Krahn/Yukon News
Whitehorse’s Fireweed Market opens May 13

The Fireweed Market will return with ‘exciting’ new and returning vendors

Ron Rousseau holds a sign saying ‘It’s time for a cultural shift’ during the Yukoners: Raise Your Voice Against Misogyny rally on May 11. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Protest held to condemn Yukon Party MLAs’ texts

A rally was held outside of legislature to condemn the inappropriate texts messages of Yukon Party MLAs Stacey Hassard and Wade Istchenko.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Neil Hartling, the Tourism Industry Association of the Yukon president, left, said the new self-isolation guidelines for the Yukon are a ‘ray of hope’ for tourism operators. (Ian Stewart/Yukon News file)
Yukon tourism operators prepared for ‘very poor summer’ even with relaxed border rules

Toursim industry responds to new guidelines allowing fully vaccinated individuals to skip mandatory self-isolation.

A lawsuit has been filed detailing the resignation of a former Yukon government mine engineer. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
A year after resigning, former chief mine engineer sues Yukon government

Paul Christman alleges a hostile work environment and circumvention of his authority led him to quit

Former Liberal MLA Pauline Frost speaks to reporters outside the courthouse on April 19. One of the voters accused of casting an invalid vote has been granted intervenor status in the lawsuit Frost filed last month. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Voters named in Pauline Frost election lawsuit ask to join court proceedings

The judge granted Christopher Schafer intervenor status

Haley Ritchie/Yukon News file
File photo of the legislative assembly. The previous spring sitting began on March 4 but was interrupted due to the election.
Throne speech kicks off short spring legislature sitting

The government will now need to pass the budget.

Most Read