By Martha Butler, OT
Butler D and Moseley L. Explain Pain. Adelaide: NOIgroup Publications, 2003.
Caudill M. Managing Pain Before it Manages You. New York: Guilford Press, 1995.
Lynch M. Surviving Your Personal Injuries Claim and Litigation: A Guidebook, 2003.
Other support available
Regionally operated Community Resource Centres* link individuals with local social support services. These include subsidized housing, food banks and community kitchens, transportation, parking placards, medical equipment, additional health insurance, child care, subsidized recreation, return to work programs, homemaking support, and volunteer opportunities. Search “Community Resource Centre” on the internet to find the ones nearest you.
Insurance and disability
Contracts or policies differ from insurer to insurer and province to province. These include definitions of disability, proportion of pay, duration of coverage, and movement from temporary to permanent disability. This is also called “third party” funding. Examples of insurers are Auto Insurance, Private Carrier Disability Insurance, Worker’s Compensation Board, Provincial Disability Insurance, and Canada Pension Plan-Disability.
The Canadian Injured Worker’s Alliance
The Canadian Injured Worker’s Alliance (CIWA) guides people disabled from work to local injured workers support groups and associations, labour federations and compensation boards.
Help filling out third party forms
When filling out these forms, provide comprehensive information. For example, provide updated information on all aspects of your pain experience. These include the physical, psychological, and social impacts of pain, not just the things being funded. Focus on your ability to function as well as your pain level. Indicate what you are able and not able to do at your current level of pain. Note the steps you have taken to improve your functioning, or the barriers you are encountering. Examples may include participation in water exercise; or the impact of having to take public transportation.
Evaluations you may be asked to undergo or can request
- Functional Capacity Evaluation (FCE): to determine your physical tolerances
- Job Site Assessment (JSA): to determine the physical, thinking, emotional and social demands of your job and recommend accommodations based on your abilities
- Ergonomic Assessment at work or home: to determine how appropriately your work/home activity station is set up, and assess the need for assistive devices
- Gradual Return to Work (GRTW) plan: to recommend a manageable return to work schedule
Other third party recommendations or requests
- Provision of specific physically based therapy services, such as physiotherapy
- Funding of a gym membership or exercise class to help with rehabilitation
- Funding of adaptive equipment, such as an ergonomic chair, to facilitate safe, independent functioning
- Provision of a psychologist to address issues such as depression, anxiety, or memory compensation strategies
- Provision of a rehabilitation consultant if guidance for therapy or return to work is needed
- Provision of vocational counseling (career counseling) if you are unable to do your own job, and will need to consider alternate jobs or retraining
It is your right to hire a lawyer if you feel your third party claim is not being handled fairly. Contact the law society in your province to access a list of lawyers who specialize in disability claims. Some provinces have public legal education societies with help lines.
You need to feel comfortable with and confident in your lawyer. Do your research and change lawyers if the fit is not right. See pages 17 to 22 in Surviving Your Personal Injuries Claim and Litigation: A Guidebook (2003) by Mary Lynch.