Melayna Neufeld is raising funds for a lawyer to help her fight for a better compensation rate from WorkSafeBC. (Melayna Neufeld)

$27 a day: West Kelowna woman challenges WorkSafeBC compensation rates

Melayna Neufeld was injured at work when she was 17 and is now an amputee

A West Kelowna resident is challenging her compensation rate from WorkSafeBC after she suffered a workplace injury nearly ten years ago, and she’s asking for community support.

Melayna Neufeld, now 24-years-old, had just started going to university in Surrey when she was 17. To support herself while studying, she worked part-time at ABC Family Restaurant, now Ricky’s.

One day, she was carrying a buffet table.

“One end of the table got stuck on the carpet and my ankle got slammed between the door and the table because somebody came and pushed on the door.”

Her ankle was shattered and as a result, Neufeld had to undergo a series of surgeries to fix it.

“I got a donor bone grafted as well as bone grafts from both my knee caps,” she explained. “I’ve even got cow bone, cartilage, we’ve tried everything to fix it.”

“But it was too badly slammed and damaged, so now I’m a below-the-knee amputee… I had my amputation done in June 2020.”

As a result of her injury and the subsequent surgeries throughout the years, Neufeld wasn’t able to finish her criminology degree, hasn’t been able to get back to work and for the last eight years. The compensation she receives for her workplace injury is $27 a day.

She has said WorkSafeBC has also refused to give her permanent disability benefits because her wage is too low. She doesn’t get coverage for physiotherapy or even home modifications so she can use her wheelchair at home.

Now she’s raising funds for a lawyer who can help her fight for a better rate and help her get the coverage she needs. First, she started collecting bottles and then a neighbour set up a GoFundMe campaign for her.

WorkSafeBC determines compensation rates based on the last 12 months that an individual has worked and the amount of income they have earned during that time.

In Neufeld’s case, she was a minor working part-time. By the time she was injured, she had only worked for three months.

WorkSafeBC stated on its website that if the worker was under 25 and sustained a workplace injury that would impact their future career, it would determine the wage rate based on what the individual’s future earnings would have been, but that never happened in Neufeld’s case, who was working towards becoming a family lawyer. She said this is exactly what she’s fighting for and hopes the community can help her.

“I need a lawyer to help me appeal the rate that WorkSafeBC first gave me. As long as I make $27 a day, I’m not even qualified for re-training. I can’t move up and I can’t move on.”

To donate to Neufeld’s GoFundMe, visit her page. If you wish to donate bottles, you can drop them off at the Columbia bottle depot on Kent Road under her phone number: 778-581-8895.

Kelowna Capital News reached out to WorkSafeBC, but those calls have gone unanswered thus far.

READ: New non-profit focuses on revamping Kelowna Community Theatre


Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
Email me at twila.amato@blackpress.ca
Follow me on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

B.C. wineries are open for indoor tasting despite new provincial health regulations. Photo- 
50th Parallel Winery, Instagram.
Indoor wine tastings still allowed in B.C., not considered a ‘social gathering’

“Tasting is really just part of the retail experience. The analogy I use is you wouldn’t buy a pair of pants without trying them on.”

Mainly clear and sunny skies are expected for the Okanagan-Shuswap region this week. (Maxpixels photo)
Warm, sunny week ahead in Okanagan-Shuswap

Daytime highs will reach the low 20s with mainly clear skies this week

File photo
Trip for cigarettes costs Princeton man $500 and a lecture

You’ve got to start obeying the rules of the road, says judge

The health authority will occupy the building until October 31, 2021. File Photo
Health authority pays town $7.4K monthly to lease Riverside Centre

Facility is being rented for COVID vaccinations

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C.’s mass vaccination program will be delivered to Princeton residents from a clinic set up at the Riverside Community Centre. (Darryl Dyck/CP photo)
COVID vaccinations bookings began for local residents last week

Riverside serves as Princeton’s appointment centre

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
The Red Pill Rapper performs to the crowd gathered for the Rally For Food Security at Blackburn Park on Saturday, April 10, 2021. (Kristal Burgess Photography)
Suspicion of ‘fake news media’ makes rally uncomfortable for Salmon Arm event photographer

More than 300 people counted at city park for ‘Rally For Food Security’

A lady wears a sticker given out after receiving a COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C.’s COVID-19 case count slows after last week’s peak

3,219 new cases since Friday, 18 additional deaths

North Cowichan councillor Tek Manhas did not violate the municipality’s code of conduct by posting a sexist meme on Facebook, council concludes. (File photo)
B.C. municipality to take no action against councillor who posted sexist meme

Tek Manhas’s meme doesn’t violate North Cowichan council’s code of conduct, municipality concludes

The former Summerland Asset Development Initiative building on Prairie Valley Road in Summerland was suggested as the site for a temporary transitional housing facility for the community. However, Summerland council has rejected this proposal. (John Arendt - Summerland Review)
Summerland council rejects transitional housing facility

Concerns raised about short timeline and condition of municipally-owned building

Shayla, an 8-pound black and grey Havanese, was stolen from outside a store on Banks Road on Saturday. (Contributed)
Stolen pup located, Kelowna RCMP confirms

Mounties said on April 12 that Shayla, the 8-pound, black and grey Havanese dog, has been located safe and sound

Penticton Vees continue their winning streak carrying a 5-0 win title as of Sunday night's hockey action. (Cherie Morgan/Cherie Morgan Photography)
Penticton Vees continue winning streak

Sunday night’s 6-1 win has them with five in a row since the start of the season

A sign on a shop window indicates the store is closed in Ottawa, Monday March 23, 2020. The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is raising its estimate for the number of businesses that are considering the possibility of closing permanently. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Small business struggling amid COVID-19 pandemic looks for aid in Liberals’ budget

President Dan Kelly said it is crucial to maintain programs to help businesses to the other side of the pandemic

The National Security and Intelligence Committee of Parliamentarians says that includes attempts to steal Canadian research on COVID-19 and vaccines, and sow misinformation. (AP Photo/Esteban Felix)
Intelligence committee warns China, Russia targeting Canadian COVID-19 research

Committee also found that the terrorist threat to Canada has shifted since its last such assessment

Most Read