When a claim is accepted, the WCB will begin paying benefits on that claim to the injured worker. There are several different types of benefits and services, designed to help you recover from your injury or illness as you return to work or to help keep you and your family secure from the impact of a workplace injury.
If you have questions about your benefits or payments, you can talk to your case worker securely using WCB Online.
For more information on how and when benefits are paid, please see the Claim Payment Processing Schedule.
Health Care Benefits
Health care costs related to your workplace injury or illness may be covered by the WCB. In general, the WCB covers costs for the following pre-approved services and personal equipment:
- Dental expenses
- Other health care items (crutches, braces, artificial limbs, wheelchairs, etc., including maintenance and repair
- Repair or replacement of eyeglasses and dentures damaged when the injury occurred (conditions apply)
Note that your employer is responsible for paying for ambulance transportation to an appropriate health care facility at the time of the injury, if required.
Please talk to your case worker to determine if specific services are available to you.
Temporary Earnings Replacement Benefits
Most injuries don’t entirely prohibit you from working, and work can be an important factor in your recovery. Depending on your injury, you may be working in a different role or for fewer hours per week during your transition back to your regular duties. This can create a financial impact for you, and the WCB is here to provide support during this time through financial compensation.
Earnings replacement benefits are based on your earnings loss — the difference in your income before your injury, and after your injury.
In more than 90 per cent of cases, when you have an injury at work, you will return to work at your pre-injury earnings. As you recover, you will receive Temporary Earnings Replacement Benefits (TERB). These benefits are usually paid every two weeks at the following rates for as long as you are unable to return to your regular job.
The calculation works like this:
- 75% of your net earnings loss for up to 26 weeks after your injury occurs
- After 26 weeks the TERB increases to 85% of your net earnings loss
There is a waiting period before you can begin to receive earning-loss benefits from the WCB. This period is two-fifths (2/5) of your normal work week. The amount you would have earned during this period is taken off the first compensation payment. For example, if you usually work five days a week you would have two days’ worth of your net weekly benefit deducted from your first payment (2/5 x 5 days). If your loss of earnings is greater than 5 weeks, the deducted amount is reimbursed.
In the vast majority of workplace injuries, there is either no time loss at all, or the worker returns to work within a few weeks at most. In some cases, the situation is more serious, and the impact of injury is more severe.
There are two types of long-term benefits if the impact of your workplace injury is permanent:
- Permanent Impairment Benefit (PIB)
- Extended Earnings Replacement Benefit (EERB)
Permanent Impairment Benefit (PIB)
A permanent impairment benefit (PIB) compensates for permanent impairment due to a workplace injury.
Eligibility for a PIB is determined by a review of your medical information and a permanent medical impairment (PMI) assessment performed by an accredited doctor. The assessment allows your case worker to set a permanent impairment (PI) rate. The PI is used to calculate the amount of your benefit.
Your permanent impairment benefit is calculated as follows: PIB = (PI x 30%) x (85% x net average weekly earnings)
After 16 months, if you have medical information that shows a change in your condition, another PMI assessment may be conducted. If this assessment results in a change in your PI, then your benefit amount would also change.
Extended Earnings Replacement Benefits (EERB)
If your injury is so severe that you are unable to return to work at your pre-injury earnings, and there is medical evidence supporting a permanent impairment, you may be eligible to receive Extended Earnings Replacement Benefits (EERB).
Extended Earnings Replacement Benefits (EERB) are paid monthly, in most cases, to replace a permanent loss of earnings — but only if your lost earnings are greater than the amount of your Permanent Impairment Benefit.
Canada Pension Plan Disability Benefits
Some workers are eligible for Canada Pension Plan Disability (CPPD) benefits for their injury or illness. You may be entitled to both earnings loss benefits under the Act and CPPD benefits, resulting in higher overall monthly payments. For more information on the benefit, visit the CPPD website. If you are applying for or receiving the benefit, or think you may qualify, please reach out to your case worker.
In the very tragic event a worker dies from a workplace injury, survivor benefits to the spouse and/or dependents are provided. The deceased’s spouse and dependents may be entitled to various benefits.
- A one-time lump-sum benefit of $15,000
- Funeral expenses up to $5,000
- Survivor benefits for spouses and dependent children
- Benefits for other dependents, depending on the situation
- Survivor benefits are also only payable until age 65 — then an annuity is payable.
To learn more about survivor benefits, please contact us.
In most industries, when you are ready to safely return to work, and your employer has 20 or more workers, and you have been employed for 12 consecutive months, your employer is obliged to re-employ you. Some employers, such as those in the construction industry, may be exempt.
This obligation lasts up to two years after your injury but will end if you refuse an acceptable offer of re-employment.
If you can do the essential duties of your pre-injury job, you are entitled to be offered:
- the same job upon returning to work.
- a comparable position, if your position is not available.
- suitable work, if there is no comparable position available.
- positions more like your pre-injury job as they become available.
If you cannot do the essential duties of your pre-injury job, but you are able to do other work safely, you are entitled to be offered the first suitable position available, and positions more suited to your abilities as your recovery progresses.
The WCB can help with workplace modifications that allow you to return to work. Some funding may be provided for these modifications. In addition to health and financial benefits, some other programs are designed to help you return to work in a safe and timely manner.
Additional Return-to-Work Services
Employment Incentive Program
Depending on the nature of your injury, you may not be able to return to your original job.
To create opportunities for you, the WCB offers employers incentives to hire injured workers through our Employment Incentive Program. Employers benefit from hiring a skilled worker, and workers benefit by getting back on the job — proven as an important factor in recovery.
Workers receiving Permanent Impairment Benefits who are unable to return to their pre-injury position due to their injury may be considered for Vocational Rehabilitation Services.
Vocational rehabilitation involves assessing your skills and abilities and matching them to a modified set of job tasks at work, or to a new job with another employer. It may also involve skills development and job search assistance. We will work with you to find the right solution that fits your situation.
If you are unable to return to the job you held prior to your injury, the WCB can help you obtain job experience. Our goal is to help you get back to work at a job with the equivalent salary as your pre-injury job.
The On-the-Job Training Program provides you with experience at a new job, which will help you find employment. Your wages are subsidized during your work term.
For more information on any of these programs, please contact your case worker.
WCB coverage is no-fault insurance, and employers and co-workers are protected from legal action in the event of a workplace injury.
In some cases, a third party may be involved in a workplace injury. In these cases, you may choose to take legal action against that third party. Alternatively, you may accept benefits, and in most cases, the WCB will take legal action to recover damages. Please contact us for more details about third-party claims.