Saskatchewan changes law to help workers with psychological injuries, PTSD

By Canadian Press
October 26, 2016 - 11:56am

REGINA - Saskatchewan workers suffering psychological injuries such as post-traumatic stress disorder won't have to prove that it occurred on the job.

The government has changed The Workers' Compensation Act to include what is called a rebuttal presumption for all forms of psychological injuries.

That means it's presumed the injury is work-related, unless an employer rebuts the position.

Labour Minister Don Morgan says the legislation is unique in Canada because it covers other forms of psychological injury that workers could suffer as a result of being exposed to traumatic events or situations at work, not just PTSD.

"We looked at what the other jurisdictions are doing, and we thought what is the fair thing to do." Morgan said.

The NDP introduced a bill in June to end PTSD investigations by Workers Compensation Board.

Cathleen MacPhee, a former paramedic and 911 operator who has PTSD, said the legislation is significant because she knows first-hand how psychological injuries can affect workers. She said the change is going to simplify the process.

"They're not going to be forced to relive their trauma over and over and over, with every different doctor or physiologist or psychiatrist that they're made to see with each workers compensation person that investigates their case."

MacPhee says she doesn't get workers compensation because she didn't want to go through the challenge or face the invasive questions about her PTSD.

There is an increased cost associated with the changes, but not enough to affect WCB's rates Morgan said.


-With files from 650 CKOM News.

(The Canadian Press)

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