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BOD Decision -2009/07/14-06 – Mental Stress


At its meeting on July 14, 2009, the Board of Directors approved changes to policy item #13.30, Mental Stress of the Rehabilitation Services and Claims Manual, Volume II (“RS&CM”). This policy provides direction on the adjudication of claims for mental stress.

The key changes to the policy are as follows:

  • Deletion of the policy statements and examples that were severed by the British Columbia Court of Appeal in the decision Plesner v. BC Hydro and Power Authority et al, 2009 BCCA 188.
  • Inclusion of a definition of a traumatic event as “an emotionally shocking event”, which reflects both the Dorland’s Medical Dictionary, 24th Edition and The Concise Oxford Dictionary definitions of traumatic.
  • Inclusion of a reference that an acute reaction may be delayed in certain circumstances, in keeping with the diagnostic features of mental stress. This change and some additional editorial changes were previously approved by the Board of Directors in October 2007 as part of a policy project to re-write all of the policies in Chapter 3 of the RS&CM.

The policy changes apply to all decisions, including appellate decisions, on or after April 30, 2009, the date of the Court of Appeal decision.

Meeting Date: Jul 14, 2009 File type: PDF (165 KB) Asset type: Policy & Regulation Decision