Vocational Services

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Job Skills Profiles

If you are unable to return to your pre-accident job, you will be sent to have a Job Skills Profile completed. In Edmonton, you are sent to Millard for this. In Calgary, you are sent to Orien Health (Lifemark), or CBI. They sit you down and discuss and document work experiences, skills and qualifications. They use this information to type up a Resume. The information on my first profile was falsified. To limit these types of issues, you can create your own resume. SIGN IT with your signature and send it to WCB to attach to your file. Also provide your vocational worker with a copy. These resumes are used to make benefit claim adjustments and decisions for suitable employment. It’s important to have the proper information on them.

Always get a copy! I also found out they typed up a resume without my knowledge. A resume is considered private & confidential information. They use their version to determine you have enough experience to get a job without re-training you. I've heard a lot of stories from claimants about how they exaggerate your skills and abilities. For example, one claimant did a one day job at a customer service position for work experience in high school (17+ Years previous) and was never employed there. His Vocational worker said that it justified customer service experience and added it as a skill to the resume. This worker had only ever been employed at laboring jobs in their life and had never worked with customers

Job Search Services

Once WCB determines a job target, they will give you 12 weeks to find a job during which time your benefits will continue. During this time you are required to look for work and submit job search forms with places you’ve applied to.

They may also send you for their job search program which can include workshops in resume writing, occupational research and many others to assist you in finding suitable work.  These programs are only provided if you have temporary or permanent work restrictions. The applicable policy can be found with the following link: https://www.wcb.ab.ca/assets/pdfs/public/policy/manual/printable_pdfs/0405_2_app3.pdf

Printing all the job ads off will help you with an appeal if you can prove the job target given is not suitable! (hint : the research completed on the jobs in database is inaccurate) The Appeals stage will give more info for that!

Employability Profiles Database

WCB relies on this database to determine what job you are suitable in performing. The information on these profiles are far from accurate. Almost all of these are the result of a company called Malatest performing research. This research is from 2012 on most of the positions. When WCB shows you the paperwork, most don't think the information is worth reading. This database can be accessed from WCB's site: https://my.wcb.ab.ca/ep/WCB.EP.WebServer/Search.aspx

In each one of the job profiles, there’s a drop down box on the top right hand side titled Region. This is where you can see the wage info for the job in each region. For example, Edmonton, Calgary, Red Deer, etc. The profiles say the wages are taken from 7 employers in that region with one of them being from a metro area. The one highlighted in yellow is supposedly the median salary of all 7. They only listed only 3 employers wages though!  In an appeal, the commission will accept actual job ads over those database profiles. This will be covered more in the Appeals stage.

When they determine you are qualified for a position that’s listed in their database, ask for a copy of this. If they don't provide this, click on the link above, type in exact name of position and open it up. If you do not have access to a computer and printer, you can go to a public library and get one.  Read through the entire profile with a fine tooth comb to understand the various sections. If you can prove this job is not ‘suitable’ as per policy, this information will become very important.


Suitable Employment

I have discovered throughout time and from listening to other injured workers stories, WCB does not follow policies when determining if a job is suitable based on their own policy! It states in their policies that it is WCB’s responsibility to help an injured worker become employable with the capabilities of earning pre-accident wages. WCB cannot make you take a job that pays you a lot less than you were making at your pre-accident job. This can be found at the link below. https://www.wcb.ab.ca/assets/pdfs/public/policy/manual/printable_pdfs/0405_1.pdf

However, when a worker has been diagnosed with permanent compensable work restrictions, there are many sections of the policy applicable to employment being ‘suitable’.

For example:  One section states that a job must be suitable at 4 different levels. These include: Physically - meaning your restrictions match the critical job demands listed on the job profile from database; Vocationally - meaning you have the experience and or education needed; Socially - meaning they can't send you into a customer service position if you have worked as a trucker for years, and Psychologically - meaning you are not suffering from say anxiety or depression that would affect you from performing the work.  This can be found from the following link: https://www.wcb.ab.ca/assets/pdfs/public/policy/manual/printable_pdfs/0404_2_app1.pdf

Suitable also refers to:  a position that the worker can perform safely which means it falls within their compensable work restrictions, is consistent with their identified skills and abilities, and the work is reasonably available in their area. https://www.wcb.ab.ca/assets/pdfs/public/policy/manual/printable_pdfs/0405_1.pdf


Training

Once WCB determines a worker will need some type of training to give them the capability to earn pre-accident wages, they look at your job skills profile, education and work experience. They will do whatever they can to keep the costs down to a minimal. They will patronize you into believing they only have to provide you with the least amount of training in order for you to become capable of earning pre-accident wages.Policy talks about how the training has to be cost effective. What they don’t take into consideration though is a worker’s compensable work restrictions as well as the need to help them become employable in order to earn pre-accident wages.  

WCB provides computer training (if you call it that), to 100’s of workers. They enroll you in these level 1 and 2 courses that only last 2 weeks each. They do not take into consideration any computer skills you may already have. For example, the level one course is for people that have never touched a computer. They rely on the job market stating a high percentage of employers require some form of computer knowledge. The job profiles they rely on say the level of computer knowledge an applicant is required to have to perform that job. This is not even accurate.  Once you complete the courses, they find a job target in their database that gives unrealistic wages with wage increases over 5 years. They use this to determine you are employable. WCB provides minimal training.  

This is a prime example of a job not being suitable. If you prove that actual jobs listed require more than these 2 courses, you could win an appeal based on it not being suitable as per policy that I discussed. I will also discuss this more in the appeal stage.

Housekeeping/Home Maintenance Allowances

Severly injured workers may be entitled to monthly allowances to pay for heavy housekeeping tasks or yard work especially if you have a permanent disability. They also have to pay you backpay for this from the time you were diagnosed with a permanent disability.

These are benefits paid under Sec. 89 of the WCB Act. The policy surrounding these can be found in Policy 04-10, Parts I & II or by clicking on the following links.

https://www.wcb.ab.ca/assets/pdfs/public/policy/manual/printable_pdfs/0410_1.pdf

https://www.wcb.ab.ca/assets/pdfs/public/policy/manual/printable_pdfs/0410_2_app3.pdf

https://www.wcb.ab.ca/assets/pdfs/public/policy/manual/printable_pdfs/0410_2_app2.pdf


Your case manager will not tell you about this. It's up to you to push for it. 

The case manager hires an Occupational Therpaist (usually from CBI Health) to come to your home and complete an assessment. Remember to always get a copy of all reports from WCB!