In a previous blog post, we talked about the different types of Long-Term Disability (LTD) coverage available to Ontario workers. One of the forms of coverage discussed was that which is offered through the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB).
Now, we’ll go into further depth about the WSIB: what it is, who it’s for, and what types of insurance benefits it offers. Here’s what you need to know.
What is the WSIB?
The WSIB is an independent trust agency of Ontario’s Ministry of Labour. It is a workers’ compensation insurer that provides compensation to ill or injured Ontario workers and no-fault insurance for Ontario employers. WSIB administers workers compensation benefits in accordance with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.
Who is Eligible for WSIB Benefits?
In order to qualify for its benefits, you must be employed by an employer covered by the WSIB. Additionally, you must have sustained your illness or injury in the course of your employment. That is, your illness or injury must have been the direct result of your work. This means that even if you are seriously injured on a weekend and unable to work for many months thereafter, you will not be able to claim WSIB benefits.
In order to receive WSIB benefits, you need to follow the treatment recommendations of a licensed healthcare provider. Additionally, you must allow your employer to receive information about your functional abilities (the kinds of activities you are capable of performing despite your illness or injury) from your treating healthcare professional.
Benefits Of Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB)
The WSIB offers several benefits for workers who have been injured or fallen ill as a result of their work. The list below is not comprehensive, but it does detail some of the most common and significant benefits offered by the WSIB.
Loss of Earnings (LOE) Benefit
As its name suggests, this benefit is intended to make up for the earnings lost due to a workplace illness or injury. The benefit starts on what would have been your first working day after the day on which the illness or injury occurred.
The LOE benefit is paid until:
- you are no longer impaired by your original workplace illness or injury;
- you no longer have a loss of wages; or
- you are 65 years old.
Benefit payments are based on, and limited by, an annual wage ceiling and calculated based on 175% of the Ontario’s average industrial wage. The first 12 weeks of your LOE benefit is calculated based on your Short-Term Average Earnings (i.e. your regular paycheque). If you have regular work and earnings, your benefit will likely remain the same after 12 weeks.
If your job is temporary or irregular and your pay is as well, after 12 weeks your benefit will be recalculated based on your Long-Term Average Earnings (i.e. your earnings from the last two years).
Non-Economic Loss (NEL)
This benefit is separate from your LOE entitlements and unrelated to your ability to work. It is for the degree of permanent impairment you incur as a result of a workplace illness or injury. This is either paid as a lump sum or on a monthly basis.
Loss of Retirement Income (LRI)
This benefit is available to you if your injury or illness takes place before you are 64 years old and have received LOE benefits for 12 consecutive months. At age 65 you will receive an LRI benefit from WSIB based on a number of factors. This benefit may be received as a lump sum or in monthly installments.
Other WSIB Benefits
In addition to the above benefits for individuals who become ill or injured through the course of their employment, the WSIB also provides assistance with healthcare needs such as prescription drugs, medical devices, healthcare equipment and supplies (i.e. assistive devices, wound-care supplies), and transportation costs associated with your illness or injury.
Finally, WSIB can also provide assistance with your return to work. Depending on the nature and severity of your illness or injury, WSIB may provide you with a case manager, nurse consultant and occupational therapist.
WSIB Legal Advice – Experienced Employment Lawyer
An experienced employment lawyer can help you file your claim and make sure you receive the full WSIB benefit to which you are entitled. If you have been injured in the workplace or fallen ill due to your work environment, talk to an expert at KCY at LAW today by calling us on (906)-639-0999 or contact us online.