Know more about how process of claiming WCB injury payouts in Canada, and the other benefits offered by the provincial WCBs
As part of the Canadian government’s policy of protecting the statutory rights of workers and employees, different laws were enacted to establish the different Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). Employees and employers alike must know the benefits offered by the WCBs, including the WCB injury payouts.
Lawyers reading this are welcome to share this article with clients they work with, whether that’s employers, employees, or workers’ unions.
WCB injury payouts in Canada are just one of the many other benefits under the workers compensation laws of Canada.
Workers’ compensation provides various benefits to an employee who has suffered a work-related injury or has contracted an occupational disease. It also includes compensation in case of an employee’s death, which are given to the employee’s dependents.
It is a mandatory benefit that must be offered by employers – whether at the federal or provincial level, and whether the employer is government-run or private. Premiums paid by the employers are collectively used for the payment of WCB injury payouts and other employee benefits.
The goal of WCB injury payouts in Canada and other benefits is to help the employee return to work safely. It may be medical, or any other kind of support, as approved by the laws on workers’ compensation.
Canadian Laws on Workers’ Compensation
WCB injury payouts in Canada are covered by the different workers’ compensation laws, which can be divided according to jurisdiction:
- Federal: Government Employees Compensation Act (GECA), which covers employees and workers of federal departments, federal agencies, and Crown corporations.
- Provincial: governed by the Workers’ Compensation Act of each province or territory, which covers any other employees from private businesses, entities, or companies.
These provincial workers’ compensation laws have established their own Workers’ Compensation Boards (WCBs). Below are some examples of the WCBs of each province or territory:
- Ontario: Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)
- Québec: Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité au travail (CNESST)
- British Columbia: WCB of British Columbia (WorkSafeBC)
- Alberta: WCB Alberta
- Manitoba: WCB of Manitoba
Some updates have been made to B.C.’s Workers Compensation Act, set to take effect in January 2024.
Process of Filing a WCB Injury Claim
Below is a process common to most WCBs that both employers and employees must follow in filing a claim for a WCB injury payout:
- Report to the employer: an injured or ill employee must immediately report to their supervisor or employer. This is also important for documentation purposes.
- Get medical treatment: this may include first aid on the day that the employee has been injured, and other medical treatment necessary for the employee’s recovery.
- Submit a claim with the WCB: this can be done either through mail or online. Workplace injuries and illnesses must be reported to the provincial WCBs within a prescribed period.
- Monitor one’s claim: the WCB will give the employee and the employer a claim or case number. It will then reach out to both the employee and the employer as to the claim’s results:
- If approved: employee will be eligible for WCB injury payout and other benefits.
- If denied: employee and/or employer can contest such decision with the WCB.
Here’s a video that shows how to make a claim, particularly for WCB Alberta:
If you’re looking for lawyers or law firms to assist you with your WCB injury payout, you can refer to our Special Report on the Best Personal Injury Law Firms in Canada.
Different WCB Benefits
Aside from WCB injury payouts, workers’ compensation in Canada also grants several benefits.
Although it may vary from one province to another, here are some of the similar benefits under Canada’s laws on workers’ compensation:
- Wage loss benefits: otherwise called injury payout. This replaces the employees’ wages or salaries during the time that they cannot work while recovering from the injury or illness. It replaces 85% to 90% of an employee’s income, depending on the rate in each province.
- Healthcare benefits: reimbursement or coverage for the costs of approved medical treatment for the recovery of the employee. It may also include hospitalization, surgery, medical devices and supplies, rehabilitation, and medicines.
- Permanent disability benefits: given to employees whose future earning capacity is affected by a permanent disability due to occupational injury or illness. It may be a lump sum amount or given monthly, which may also cover cost of living allowance and retirement benefits.
- Survivor’s benefits or death benefits: lump sum compensation given to an employee’s dependents (e.g., spouse and/or children, or parents) in case of death because of the work-related injury or illness. This may also include funeral and transportation costs.
Computations of WCB injury payouts will depend on each provincial workers’ compensation law. In most cases, here’s how these payouts are calculated:
- The day when the injury occurred: income must be 100% paid by the employer.
- On days the employee missed work: after the injury, income will be paid by the WCB according to the provincial rate. This can be 85% to 90% based on one’s take-home pay. This will last until the employee returns to work or upon reaching the retirement age set by the province.
There are other factors that may affect an employee’s WCB injury payouts. For instance, the following items are deducted from an employee’s gross earnings before applying the rate (i.e., 85% or 90%) payable by the WCB:
- Canada Pension Plan (CPP) or Québec Pension Plan (QPP) premiums
- Employment Insurance (EI) premiums
- Any applicable federal or provincial taxes
Working while on WCB
Although working while on WCB injury payouts is allowed, this must be reported to the WCB. In this case, the employee’s additional earnings will be deducted from their WCB injury payout.
This applies when temporary work has been arranged by the employer and the employee. For example, an employee was permitted to work remotely, or for reduced hours, or on different duties. However, this temporary work arrangement must not hinder an employee’s full recovery.
Appeals or reviews of an employee’s WCB injury payout in Canada are allowed by the WCBs. It’s a right granted by the Canadian workers’ compensation laws.
As an example of an appeal or review procedure, below is Ontario’s WSIB appeal process:
- First level: WSIB’s Appeals Services Division
- Second level: Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal
If you have any questions regarding WCB injury payouts in Canada, leave your questions in the comment section below.