Note: This Overview is intended to provide a general guide to Board policies and programs. It does not constitute official Board policy.
Transitional Benefits (subsections 7.1 and 7.2)
With the coming into effect of the new Workers' Compensation Act on February 1, 1996, the rules for short- and long-term compensation changed, moving the Board and its clients to a system based on earnings replacement as well as physical impairment. Since the new rules applied to all injuries on or after March 23, 1990, some claims already paid benefits in accordance with the former Act had to be recalculated and the benefits adjusted in accordance with the new Act. This process was essentially completed in 1996. The rules with respect to which claims were recalculated and how the benefits were adjusted are contained in the Transitional Benefit Policies.
Amended Interim Earnings Loss (subsection 7.3)
The Board adopted the Amended Earnings Loss Policies on November 24, 1993. The policies were intended to ensure that an interim earnings loss benefit would be provided to those workers most in need (ie., those with a permanent physical impairment and a loss of earnings related to their injury).
Benefits paid were generally one-half of the earnings loss reported by the worker and continued (in most cases) until the adoption of final earnings loss policies. These "final" policies were adopted pursuant to the new Act and are contained in this manual. Recalculation of these interim benefits were carried out as part of the transitional benefit recalculations referred to above. Effective April 28, 1999, Bill 90 reinstated AIEL benefits to workers with injury dates prior to March 23, 1990.
Recalculation under s. 228 (subsection 7.4)
On August 11, 1998 the Court of Appeal released a decision (the Richard decision) that ruled the current Workers' Compensation Act and policies apply to requests for permanent benefits for workers' injured during the 'window period' of March 23, 1990 and January 31, 1996. In other words, the calculation for permanent benefits during the window period is to be based on the formula in the current Act (i.e. 85% of net).
Compensation for Chronic Pain for Injuries March 23, 1990-Jan.31, 1996 (subsection 7.5)
Effective April 28, 1999, sections 10A and 10E of Bill 90 came into force. Section 10A states that no compensation is payable for chronic pain, other than that specified under the Functional Restoration Program Regulations (for post-February 1, 1996 injuries) and Section 10A of Bill 90 (for injuries after March 23, 1990 and February 1, 1996).
Section 10E provide certain workers in the appeal system, or on temporary benefits, as of November 25, 1998, with Permanent Impairment Benefits and Extended Earnings Replacement Benefits, where appropriate.