How your personal information is gathered, used and disclosed in managing a workers' compensation claim: What you need to know

Living with a workplace injury can be stressful for you and your family. A workplace injury is different from a personal injury because of how the treatment is funded and who plays a role in getting you safely back to work. The following information explains how your personal information is gathered, used and disclosed during your compensation claim.

Personal health information and privacy
In New Brunswick, the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (RTIPPA) and the Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act (PHIPAA) protect the privacy of your personal information, including your personal health information. The Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act applies to personal information gathered, used, disclosed and maintained by WorkSafeNB. The Personal Health Information Protection and Access Actdesignates WorkSafeNB as a custodian of your personal health information, and it must comply with this legislation. This notice outlines WorkSafeNB’s approach to protecting your personal privacy. Everyone at WorkSafeNB is required to adhere to the terms of this notice.

How we collect information about you
We collect personal information, including health information, about you directly from you, from a person acting on your behalf, from your employer or from a health care provider. The personal information that we collect may include, for example, information about your workplace injury, your medical treatment, prescriptions, your medical prognosis, limitations on your ability to work after a workplace accident and your earnings. When a worker is killed, information is collected from the employer and survivors to set benefit levels.We collect only the information required to provide care, to pay for and administer the care that is provided, and to communicate with you and to provide all legislated benefits payable to you or your family. We do not collect any other information, or allow information to be used for other purposes, without your express (verbal or written) consent, except where authorized to do so by law.

Who may use and see your personal health information
By seeking workers’ compensation benefits, including medical care, from and through WorkSafeNB, you provide your consent to gather, use, disclosed and maintain your personal information and personal health information to provide you with benefits and ensure proper and timely medical care and treatment. This is done when you sign the Form 67, “Report of Accident or Occupational Disease.” When completing this form you are required to agree with the following statement regarding your information: 

I consent and authorize WorkSafeNB to gather and use any pertinent medical records of examination or treatment as well as any information related to income for the administration of this claim. Further, I consent and authorize WorkSafeNB to gather, use, release or disclose information from this claim, including medical and financial information, as authorized by law and in accordance with the Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act, the Right to Information and Protection of Privacy Act and the Personal Health Information Privacy and Access Act. I also understand, consent to and agree that any physician or other medical service provider may provide any medical information related to my workers' compensation claim to WorkSafeNB, and may provide any information related to my ability to return to work to WorkSafeNB or my employer.

To do this effectively, WorkSafeNB shares information with or consults with other providers involved in your claim including (but not limited to) other health care agencies, other health care providers (physicians and specialists, pharmacists, lab technicians, nutritionists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists, etc.), and other government income agencies and Canada Revenue Agency. As your employer plays an active and integral role in returning you to work after an injury, your employer has access to some of the information in your claim as well. We may also collect, use and share your personal health information to others, without your consent, as reasonably necessary to make payments for your health care (and hospital services); to  plan, manage and administer health care programs and services; or to fulfill reporting obligations to certain authorized organizations for use in the planning and management of the health-care system, and to fulfill other purposes as permitted or required by law, such as billing provincial health plans, reporting infectious diseases, or responding to a court order.

Your express written consent is required before we may use or disclose your health information for purposes other than to provide you with care or unless we are authorized to do so by law.

Your rights and choices
The RTIPPA and PHIPAA identify specific rights that you have with respect to your personal information, including your health information. You have the right (subject to certain limited exceptions) to ask us not to give out your personal health information to other health-care providers or other parties, in which case we will not give out this information unless permitted or required by law to do so. You should be aware, that unlike in the public health-care system, some refusals to participate in your own treatment may result in a review or suspension of your workers’ compensation claim..

You also have the right to examine or receive a copy of your personal health information. If you wish to view the original record, one of our staff must be present to maintain the integrity of the record. Requests for access to your health record can be made in writing to your case manager or adjudicator. You have the right to ask us to make corrections to personal health information you believe to be inaccurate or incomplete, the right to designate another person to make decisions about your personal health information, and to complain to the Access to Information and Privacy Commissioner if you think we have violated your rights.

Other important information
Safeguards are in place to protect the security of your information. They include a combination of physical, technological and administrative security measures appropriate to the sensitivity of the information. These safeguards meet or exceed industry standards and are aimed at protecting personal information against loss or theft as well as unauthorized access, disclosure, copying, use or modification.

WorkSafeNB is required to retain personal health records and other personal information indefinitely. A workers’ compensation claim is never closed since future medical problems may occur that are caused by the original workplace injury, and the management of that issue is WorkSafeNB’s responsibility, regardless of the claimant’s age.

How to contact us
If you have any questions or concerns regarding your personal information, please contact your adjudicator or case manager. Your WorkSafeNB correspondence will have that contact information.

Click to view WorkSafeNB’s Privacy and Information Security policy.

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