Nova Scotia approves chronic pain benefits

Regulations address issues raised in Supreme Court of Canada decision on chronic pain, expected to cost $11 million per year in benefits
||Last Updated: 04/04/2005

The Nova Scotia government has approved regulations that clear the way for millions of dollars in compensation benefits for injured workers who suffer from chronic pain.

“The adoption of these regulations is the first step in enabling payments to injured workers with work-related chronic pain,” said Kerry Morash, Nova Scotia’s Minister responsible for the Workers’ Compensation Board. “This is a fair approach that addresses the constitutional issues raised by the Supreme Court, and it is sustainable.”

For more information on the Supreme Court of Canada decision, see the related articles link below.

The province estimated that the chronic pain benefit will deliver about $11 million annually to injured workers in the form of new benefits. Workers who qualify will be eligible to receive compensation back to the April 17, 1985, or to the date of their injury, which will provide sizeable retroactive payments. The new benefit will add about $168 million to the unfunded liability.

The new regulations replace the Functional Restoration Program Regulations and Section 10B of the Workers’ Compensation Act. In October 2003 the Supreme Court of Canada rendered a decision on a chronic pain appeal that found these passages to be unconstitutional. It said injured workers with chronic pain must have the same access to the workers’ compensation system as other injured workers.

In the near future the Workers’ Compensation Board will be consulting with stakeholders on a policy document outlining the implementation of the chronic pain benefit.

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