June 27, 2017

Retraite Québec refuses to deem a woman disabled

Corps

The complaint

Pied

A woman was turned down for a disability pension. Retraite Québec, considering that all the possibilities in terms of treatments that could improve her condition had not been exhausted, rejected her application. She could have had surgery, but she refused to undergo it. She complained to the Québec Ombudsman.

The investigation

  • A lady had surgery for a foot injury but there were post-surgical complications.
  • Her physician felt that she could no longer work because she could not walk without assistance.
  • She therefore applied to Retraite Québec for a disability pension.
  • The application was turned down because all the possibilities in terms of treatments that could improve her condition had not been exhausted—she could have had another surgery.
  • The woman saw two specialists who told her that the surgical risks were high and success rates low. Furthermore, no other treatment was available.
  • Jurisprudence recognizes that Retraite Québec cannot require someone to undergo surgery.
  • The Québec Ombudsman asked Retraite Québec to have a second look at the citizen’s file by considering the major risks involved, the low chances of success and the citizen’s refusal.

The result

During the investigation by the Québec Ombudsman, the woman completed her file. She sent Revenu Québec a letter from her orthopedic surgeon explaining the surgical risks in greater detail. The agency approved the woman’s disability pension application and retroactively granted the amounts to which she was entitled.