Monday, December 01, 2008

New Service Delivery Model

It's not only been a busy few months for us at the office but also at WSIB. The Board has introduced a new service model which impacts the way in which claims are processed.

The Board has stated: "Profound emotional, physical and economic losses are experienced when injured or ill workers have not yet returned to work and recovery. These losses are felt in the home, at the workplace, and throughout the community. Everyone benefits when workers return to work and recover as quickly as possible. " The focus of the new system is return to work and the model has been released at the same time as the new return to work policies which we have been anticipating for a number of years.

Through the life of a claim workers will come in contact with not just one adjudicator but several. When an accident first happens an Eligibility Adjudicator will determine your eligibility to benefits. This adjudicator will primarily investigate the claim and determine initial entitlement following an accident.

If the claim results in a longer term recovery the file will be transferred to a Case Manager who makes decisions about ongoing benefits to be paid, reviews the opportunities and obstacles to return to work, arranges and monitors Labour Market Re-entry services and makes decisions concerning permanent unemployability.

The Case Manager will work with the Return to Work Specialist who facilitates return to work and case resolution at the workplace. The Return to Work Specialist assists the parties in identifying suitable and available employment in the workplace in order to fulfil the worker's and employer's obligation to cooperate in an early and safe return to work.

The Nurse Case Manager's Role has been expanded and is now called a Nurse Consultant. The Nurse Consultant coordinates specific medical interventions and assists in resolving health care barriers and improving wait times to services required. This person also decides what health care services and benefits are allowable.

The Disability Prevention Specialist assists employers (in-house as needed) to build new or improved prevention, disability management and compliance programs and practices for their entire workplace. The position is part of the Board's mandate to have zero accidents.

The new delivery model was launched in Ottawa and Toronto this past fall. The Windsor office is set to change to the new model in February, 2009 and the transition process for the other regional offices is to be completed by mid 2009.

This new system means that there will likely be a change in adjudicators for many workers in the coming months.

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