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The UCP cut workers from mental health support

Did you know?

It should be presumed that nurses, doctors and other frontline workers could have PTSD from the trauma of working in hospitals during Alberta’s brutal COVID-19 fourth wave brought on by UCP bad decisions. But because the UCP government changed WCB law, they, and most other workers, might have to fight to get the mental health support they need.

Last year, during the pandemic, the UCP used Bill 47, the so-called Ensuring Safety and Cutting Red Tape Act to not only make worksites less safe by cutting OHS, but also to make it more difficult for injured workers to get WCB benefits and make it easier to kick injured workers off of benefits.

Harder to get WCB benefits

One of the biggest changes the UCP made for workers accessing WCB benefits is that most workers are now cut off from presumptive coverage for psychological injuries. Prior to the UCP changes, if any worker experienced a traumatic event (or series of events) at work, and was diagnosed by a physician or psychologist as having a psychological injury, it was presumed the injury happened at work. If an employer could demonstrate the injury did not happen at work, the worker would not receive coverage for this injury.

Under the new UCP changes, only certain frontline workers are given presumptive coverage, specifically firefighters, paramedics, police and peace officers, and emergency dispatch workers. All other workers have to argue to have their injuries compensated – even if they go through the exact same traumatic experience along with these frontline workers.

The UCP have gone so far as to brag that this change alone will take an estimated $230 million away from workers over the next 3 years.

The Workers Compensation Act changes


The old version of the Workers Compensation Act (in force December 1, 2018)

s. 24.2

(3)  If a worker

                             (a) is or has been exposed to a traumatic event or events during the course of the worker’s employment, and

                             (b) is or has been diagnosed with a psychological injury by a physician or psychologist,

the psychological injury shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proven, to be an injury that arose out of and occurred during the course of the worker’s employment.

(4)  The Board shall

                             (a) assist a worker who is diagnosed with a psychological injury in obtaining, or

                             (b) provide to the worker

treatment by culturally competent clinicians who are familiar with the research concerning treatment for psychological injuries.

The new UCP version (April 1, 2021)

s.24.2 (page 39 & 40)

 (3)  If a first responder, correctional officer, emergency dispatcher or member of any other class of worker prescribed by the regulations

                             (a) is or has been exposed to a traumatic event or events during the course of the worker’s employment, and

                             (b) is or has been diagnosed with a psychological injury by a physician or psychologist,

the psychological injury shall be presumed, unless the contrary is proven, to be an injury that arose out of and occurred during the course of the worker’s employment.

(4)  The Board shall

                             (a) assist a worker who is diagnosed with a psychological injury in obtaining, or

                             (b) provide to the worker

treatment by culturally competent clinicians who are familiar with the research concerning treatment for psychological injuries.

For more information on these UCP rollbacks on worker health and safety and others check out our Bill 47: What does it really mean? Fixed fact sheets.

Demand that Kenney bring back mental health support for workers

We need to bring back mental health support -- presumptive WCB coverage for ALL workers who suffer psychological trauma at work, especially our frontline healthcare workers.

Nurses, doctors, and hospital staff shouldn’t have to face mental health issues on their own. Alberta’s government should be providing them with the support they not only need, but deserve.

This is why we have launched a campaign to demand that the Kenney UCP government bring back mental health support for frontline workers.

Join us to stand up to Kenney and send an email to tell the UCP to bring back presumptive mental health support for all workers now.