Can I Get More Benefits If My Medical Condition Changes?
Yes. WorkSafeBC can reopen benefit decisions if there is a significant change or recurrence of a medical condition that it has accepted on your claim.
In order to justify a reopening, the “significant change” needs to be more than usual and expected minor fluctuations.
In some cases, a condition will resolve completely, but then come back. This is called a “recurrence.” If it happens, WorkSafeBC can restart benefits that they previously ended.
In many cases, medical conditions get worse over time, and this may lead to increased benefits. However, conditions can sometimes improve. If WorkSafeBC becomes aware of an improvement, they may reduce your benefits.
What information does WorkSafeBC need to reopen my claim?
If your medical condition gets worse or comes back, you should visit your doctor, and ask them to send medical reports to WorkSafeBC. The reports should:
- Describe the significant change or recurrence,
- Explain what caused the significant change or recurrence, and
- Give an opinion on whether
- the significant change or recurrence is temporary or permanent.
What happens if WorkSafeBC reopens my claim?
WorkSafeBC will look at the medical information your doctor provides, and decide whether you are entitled to more benefits. These may include:
- Temporary wage loss benefits,
- A permanent disability award or an increase of such an award,
- Health care benefits, and
- Vocational rehabilitation.
What If I disagree with the decision?
If you disagree with WorkSafeBC’s decision, you have the right to challenge the decision.
The rules for challenging reopening and recurrence decisions are somewhat complicated. Therefore, we recommend that you file both a Request for Review with the Review Division and a Notice of Appeal with the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal. You should do both at the same time, and within 90 days of the WorkSafeBC decision.
This factsheet has been prepared for general information purposes. It is not a legal document. Please refer to the Workers Compensation Act and the Rehabilitation Services and Claims Manual Volume I and Volume II for purposes of interpretation and application of the law.