POA Decision – 1999/04/13-01 –Pension Benefits for Loss of Visual Acuity
The Panel of Administrators has approved amendments to policy item #39.42 of the Rehabilitation Services and Claims Manual. The amendments serve to incorporate the rationale for considering corrected vision in assessing visual acuity when determining compensation under Section 23(1) of the Workers Compensation Act. Section 23(1) provides compensation based on the existence of a permanent partial "disability". The degree of disability is the extent to which the injury is presumed to impair the earning capacity of the average worker. In determining the degree of disability, measurement of the loss of visual acuity is usually based on the best vision obtainable after correction with corrective lenses. Effective application of corrective lenses should eliminate any impairment of earning capacity. The amendments also recognize that certain occupations require perfect uncorrected vision as a condition of employment. In these circumstances, where the worker may suffer an actual loss of earnings, the policy states that a Section 23(3) loss of earnings pension may be more equitable. The amendments came into effect on June 15, 1999.