You are currently viewing New Changes Relating to the Mental Health Presumption for WorkSafeBC Claimants

New Changes Relating to the Mental Health Presumption for WorkSafeBC Claimants

An announcement was made on June 10, 2024 that 11 new occupations had been added to the mental health presumption under the Workers Compensation Act, making it easer for workers in those occupations to receive compensation for psychological injuries caused by trauma stemming from their work.  

Under the Workers Compensation Act when a worker employed in an eligible occupation is diagnosed with an applicable and formally diagnosed mental disorder, it is presumed that the mental disorder is a reaction to a traumatic event or events arising out of and in the course of the worker’s employment.  An eligible occupation includes the occupations noted in section 135 of the Workers Compensation Act, as well as occupations the Lieutenant Governor in Council has prescribed by regulation.

Before the recent announcement, the list of eligible occupations included: police officers; firefighters; fire investigators; paramedics; sheriffs; correctional officers; emergency medical assistants; emergency response dispatchers; nurses; and publicly funded health-care assistants.  As of June 10, 2024 the list now includes: community-integration specialists; coroners; harm-reduction workers; parole officers; probation officers; respiratory therapists; shelter workers; social workers; transition house workers; victim service workers; and withdrawal-management workers.

Being added to the mental health presumption means workers in the newly added occupations that receive a formal diagnosis of a psychological injury will have their claims go through a fast-tracked process, therefore being able to receive health care benefits and workers’ compensation benefits quicker.

Workers in occupations not covered by the mental health presumption are still able to make claims for psychological conditions; however, they will need to establish that the condition arose out of and in the course of employment.

Sources:

[1] Mental health presumption extended to 11 new occupations | WorkSafeBC

[2] S 135(2) of the Workers Compensation Act  

[3] More workers will receive easier access to mental-health supports | BC Gov News