Information from Inquiries
Effective date: January 1, 2014
Application: All claims and employer accounts.
Policy subject: Privacy and access to information
To establish guidelines for protecting privacy during the access, collection and release of information within the control of the Workers’ Compensation Board.
Inquiry means any claim or employer account information-gathering by the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) staff or by any other person the WCB may authorize. It does not include investigations conducted by the Internal Audit Department.
Third party means a person who is not the worker, employer, representative or health care provider in relation to any injury claim or employer account.
- POL 05/2017, Privacy of Information has been approved, providing guidelines for staff concerning the access, collection and release of information within the control of the Workers' Compensation Board (WCB).
- There are many circumstances where information provided on standard forms, such as Worker’s Report of Injury, Employer’s Report of Injury, health care providers’ reports or Employer’s Payroll Statement, is not sufficient to determine entitlement or assessment issues and requires further inquiries.
- In other cases, third parties may volunteer information, in person, by telephone, or in writing, concerning the claim of a worker or the circumstances of an employer.
- The following procedure provides guidelines where WCB staff receives information from third parties or those named by another source regarding a customer file.
- Any information obtained or discussed during the course of inquiries will be recorded on the claim or employer account.
- Where they have not already done so, third parties may be encouraged to confirm their statements in writing.
- Third parties are to be advised that information they provide will be recorded, and at the request of a customer, may be subject to disclosure. If there is no objection to this, a normal statement will be taken.
- Where any third party declines to be identified, the information should be recorded as anonymous. The third party should be warned that anonymous information will normally carry weight in the decision-making process only if corroborated by information from another source.
- Third parties who have been identified as having relevant information will be contacted to obtain information directly from them, before they are identified on the claim file or employer account.
- All persons interviewed are permitted to have a representative present during the interview if they wish.
- Oral statements will be taken, and recorded on the claim or employer account, but signed written statements may also be taken at the discretion of the interviewer.
- Staff who conduct inquiries in the field will not express opinions on decisions to be made on the claim or employer account. Parties involved are to be informed that decisions will be made by authorized WCB staff.
- Staff will record field inquiries in a written report submitted to the claim or employer account.
- Where an individual is believed to have critical information but refuses to divulge it, consideration may be given to invoking Section 21 of the Act to compel the individual to testify as a witness under oath. However, approval will first be sought from the Chief Executive Officer.
- Where information obtained points to the possibility of deliberate falsehood or omission, the situation will be reported to Internal Audit.
Act Sec #
Act Sec #
20, 21, 22, 25, 140, 172, 173, 174.
References updated in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013.
PRO 05/2008 Information from Inquiries
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