A recent arbitration decision in Mujku v State Farm provides a useful analysis for determining catastrophic impairment due to a mental or behavioural disorder under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. The applicant, Mrs. Mujku, was injured in a rear end collision in November, 2005. The collision itself, by all accounts, was relatively minor: The vehicle sustained $703.34 worth of damage and Mrs. Mujku suffered soft tissue injuries. Following the collision, Mrs. Mujku’s pain steadily worsened and her mental health deteriorated. Eventually, Mrs. Mujku was diagnosed with a number of recognized mental and behavioural disorders, including, a major depressive disorder and a pain disorder with associated psychological factors.
Arbitrator Jeffrey Rogers decided that Mrs. Mujku met the definition of catastrophic impairment due to mental or behavioural disorder under the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. In order to be found catastrophically impaired, an applicant must have a marked impairment in one of four areas of functioning: 1) activities of daily living; 2) social functioning; 3) concentration, persistence and pace; or 4) deterioration or decompensation in work or worklike settings. Continue reading