Mental Stress Update: July 1, 2018 Deadline for New Claims

 

Effective January 1, 2018, changes to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act (WSIA) mean that workers may claim benefits for chronic or traumatic stress that is not caused by decisions or actions of the employer relating to the employment (e.g. termination). 
Previously, the WSIB only allowed benefits for traumatic mental stress injuries that were an acute reaction to a sudden or unexpected traumatic event.  Now benefits may be allowed for both traumatic and chronic mental stress.
According to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s (WSIB’s) policy, chronic stress is an appropriately diagnosed mental stress injury that is caused by a substantial work-related stressor.
The new chronic stress provisions apply to all accidents on or after January 1, 2018.  There is also some retroactive application.  Workers whose chronic stress occurs on or after April 29, 2014 and have never filed a claim before January 1, 2018 may file a claim as long as they do so on or before July 1, 2018.  Workers whose stress claims are pending at WSIB or the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) will have their claims reconsidered by the WSIB.
For more details about claiming benefits for chronic stress please see the WSIB’s Operational Policy Manual, 15-03-14, Chronic Stress.

May 1, 2018