Value of Coverage

In this section

System Review 2023

About the WCB

 Value of Coverage


What We Do

Funding Our Future

Fishing Industry


Workers’ compensation insurance protects Nova Scotian workers if something happens to them on the job. There are many benefits of having workers’ compensation coverage

Regardless of fault, when injuries occur at work or because of your work in a covered workplace, workers are eligible for a wide range of benefits, and support while they recover.

Employers benefit, too. Only workers’ compensation insurance provides protection from lawsuit – an employer who has workers’ compensation coverage cannot be sued for damages if a worker is hurt on the job.

About Coverage in Nova Scotia

The Workers’ Compensation Act and its regulations outline who is required and who is not required to have WCB coverage in Nova Scotia. In 2022, WCB Nova Scotia provided coverage to approximately 353,000 workers and 20,600 employers. Based on the current list of industries required to have coverage, about 25% of workers are being excluded from accessing WCB coverage. While many have private insurance, about 50,000 workers are estimated to have no protection at all at work.

In Nova Scotia:

  • All workplaces with fewer than three workers are excluded from mandatory coverage.  
  • Any workplace can “opt in” to WCB coverage through what’s called voluntary coverage.

While similar, all jurisdictions in Canada differ. Most other jurisdictions in Canada cover many more workplaces, including many more low-risk industries. These low-risk industries, like banking, also tend to have higher payroll bases. Nova Scotia covers less of its workforce than in other jurisdictions across the country.

Benefits of Coverage

WCB Nova Scotia is the province’s provider of workplace injury insurance. We support employers in creating safer workplaces, but if injury does happen, we are there to provide security from its impact to workers and their families.

Check out these examples to learn more about how WCB coverage can make a difference. These examples feature industries where WCB coverage is currently not mandatory.  

Carlos, a hairdresser, is injured at work. He slips, falls, and needs time off to recover.

Annual salary: $35,000.

With WCB Coverage. Carlos would receive about $360 per week– enough to cover basic expenses. If he needs physiotherapy or other non-MSI health care, it’s completely covered, along with travel to appointments.

Without WCB Coverage. In this scenario, it’s possible Carlos would have no income at all, leaving him vulnerable to significant life impacts, particularly if the injury continues. Carlos may not have access to health care services, such as physiotherapy, which may not be covered through MSI, delaying recovery and his ability to return to work.

Coverage for Carlos would cost about $42 a month. 


Serena, a mother and spouse, 35 years old, with one dependent child and spouse, dies at work on a farm. Her annual income was $35,000 per year.

Many farms are small, often family businesses. And while many in the farming community would like to see farming among a more inclusive approach to workers’ compensation coverage, some farms still don’t have coverage, and farming isn’t an industry where workers’ compensation coverage is mandatory.

With WCB Coverage. There’s an immediate lump-sum payment of $15,000, and funeral expenses of up to $5,000. Her dependent spouse receives benefits until Serena would have turned 65. Her child also receives benefits until they turn 18, and longer if their education continues. This provides some security from the impact of this workplace tragedy. 

Without WCB Coverage. It’s hard to say. Serena’s family’s future livelihood depends on any private insurance the farm may have had in place – many don’t – and any personal life insurance. There is no security from the impact of workplace injury, regardless of fault, which is offered under workers’ compensation legislation.

Coverage for Serena would cost about $42 a month.