A claim for a recurrence of a compensable injury is accepted when 1) there is no new accident and 2) there is medical compatibility or a combination of medical compatibility and continuity between the original compensable injury or disease and the worker’s current condition.
A reopening for planned medical interventions related to the original compensable condition is treated as a continuation of the initial period of disablement and not as a recurrence.
When a claim is accepted as a recurrence, the costs are charged to the original accident employer.
Derek Green v. The Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission (New Brunswick Court of Appeal, 1997)
Accident – includes a wilful and intentional act, not being the act of a worker, and also includes a chance event occasioned by a physical or natural cause, as well as a disablement caused by an occupational disease and any other disablement arising out of and in the course of employment, but does not include the disablement of mental stress or a disablement caused by mental stress, other than as an acute reaction to a traumatic event (WC Act).
Evidence – information or things presented to prove a fact.
Preponderance of Evidence – it is more likely than not, based on the weight and strength of the evidence. (Adapted from Merriam-Webster Dictionary).
Recurrence – is the return or reactivation of the original compensable injury when there has been no new accident.
Reopening – is a known or planned future medical intervention for the original medical condition.