MIG Update – April 12, 2021

Timing of Assessment

Often the Tribunal decisions discuss both the quality of the information and timing of the assessment when considering the evidence and the adjudication of a dispute. This issue is focused on the timing of the assessment and opinions on the MIG conclusions.

Factor: Timing of Assessment

In C.H. v Aviva (18-002710), a January 2017 loss, C.H. was diagnosed with Somatic Symptoms Disorder, Adjustment Disorder and Vehicle Related Phobia in May 2017, following numerous visits to her psychologist. The Respondent’s IE conducted in July 2018, 18 months after the accident, did not find any diagnosable psychological conditions “at this time”.

Preferring C.H.’s assessor’s conclusion, the Tribunal found that C.H. suffered psychological impairments that removed her from the MIG.

‘MIG escape’ – The Tribunal’s finding turned on:

  • There are clearly two conflicting reports with very different results, completed in two very different time frames, 14 months apart.
  • The IE did not address whether C.H. suffered from any psychological condition or impairment at any time prior to the assessment and the opinion was limited only to the time of IE
  • All relevant medical documentation indicates that C.H. sustained psychological impairment in the months after the accident, evidenced by her visits to her psychologists and the documentation by her treating chiropractor

In 17-006927 v Co-operators, an October 2015 loss, the Applicant was diagnosed with Somatic Symptom Disorder and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in June 2016. The Respondent’s IE conducted in May 2016 did not support these findings.

With the s.25 and s.44 assessments conducted only days apart, the Tribunal found it significant that their results were drastically different and ultimately preferred the IE, which was “a more accurate representation of the applicant’s condition”.

‘MIG hold’ – The Tribunal’s finding turned on

  • “The timing of the assessments and the lack of corroboration for psychological distress, complaints, or impairment in the clinical notes and records of the family physician”
  • These assessments took place within days of each other, yet painted dramatically different pictures of the applicant’s psychological functioning
  • Ultimately, the IE finding is supported by the lack of psychological distress noted in the family physician’s notes

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