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Proposed Changes to the Definition of Catastrophic Impairment in SABS

We are pleased to attach a condensed breakdown of the proposed changes to the CAT definition. Currently, the government is pretty close to making the recommendations law. The Ontario Trial Lawyers’ Association has been lobbying the government to try to either stop the amendments or at the very least have more consultation.

In any event, the major changes are the elimination of the GCS score as a determinative factor in CAT. This will have the effect of delaying the CAT funding in brain injured patients as there will not be a CAT determination in most head injury cases until at least 6 months after the accident. There is also the requirement that the brain injured person be accepted to a program of inpatient neurological rehabilitation at a recognized rehabilitation centre. This is particularly flawed and arbitrary change as we all know that the system is stressed and that there are only so many beds available in rehab hospitals. Those people who would have had rehab teams follow them home from the regional trauma centre would not have a CAT designation as a result.

There are also proposed changes to CAT definition of TBI in children. There is a requirement that the child be admitted to a level 1 trauma centre with positive findings on CT/MRI or is admitted to an inpatient publically funded rehabilitation facility. What happens if the child was not admitted to a level 1 trauma centre or if there was no level 1 trauma centre in their area? What if the CT/MRI does not show intracranial pathology but the brain symptoms are presenting? There are numerous problems here. The rest of the definition is again time dependent with tests occurring after 3, 6 and 9 months after the accident.

There is also a proposed change indicating that physical and psychiatric impairments are not to be combined for the purposes of the CAT definition. We don’t believe why a brain injury survivor who sustains a mild to moderate brain injury resulting in psychiatric symptoms, along with a physical impairment should be excluded from being able to combine the impairments.

We strongly believe that the proposed changes will dramatically reduce rehabilitation dollars at the early stage of the patient’s rehabilitation, which is an extremely important time from the rehab perspective. We urge you to write to your MPP to display your concern.

Click here for details of proposed changes.

For assistance with a personal injury or insurance claim, please email David at dhimelfarb@himprolaw.com. To be contacted immediately call 1-855-446-7765 for a free case evaluation.

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