THE SOCIAL SECURITY COMMISSIONERS
Commissioner's Case no: CI/2414/1998
SOCIAL SECURITY CONTRIBUTIONS AND BENEFITS ACT 1992
SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION ACT 1992
APPEAL FROM A DECISION OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY APPEAL TRIBUNAL
ON A QUESTION OF LAW
DECISION OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY COMMISSIONER
Mr Commissioner David Williams
9 December 1998
The background to the appeal
The basis for the appeal
Can a conversation be an accident?
Was there an accident?
all the work-related injury suffered by the claimant at the date of claim or any other date. The weakness in the adjudication officer's argument in this case is that it appears to be based on the assumption that the claimant's mental problems are indivisible and also that there could only be one cause for those problems. The officer argues in effect that the stress of the work clearly caused the earlier problems, that the earlier problems caused the later problems, and that therefore the conversation did not. It therefore could not be an accident. I do not think that follows for psychological injury any more than it does for physical injury. What constitutes or causes injury is a question of fact. Whether an injury has more than one cause is also a question of fact, determined in most cases on medical evidence.
The question before the tribunal in this case was whether the incident caused injury not "the injury". If the incident caused injury, and the incident was "out of and in the course of employment", then there is a basis for a declaration of an industrial accident.
David Williams Commissioner
15 December 1998