WCB injury payouts: a legal guide

Get to know more about the WCB injury payouts and ways to maximize them
WCB injury payouts: a legal guide

Recovering from an injury or disability is hard enough. As such, injury payouts from various programs will give you one less thing to think about, so that you can focus on helping yourself get back on track.

How do WCB injury payouts in Canada work?

Workers’ compensation is provided to employees who suffer a work-related or a workplace injury or illness.

Each Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) is established by each province’s Workers’ Compensation Act. As such, WCB injury payouts are governed by the provincial WCBs.

Here are some of Canada’s Workers’ Compensation Acts:

  • Ontario: Workers’ Compensation Act establishing the WSIB
  • Québec: Workers’ Compensation Act establishing the CNESST
  • British Columbia: Workers’ Compensation Act establishing WorkSafeBC
  • Alberta: Workers’ Compensation Act establishing the WCB Alberta

Under provincial and federal labor laws, employers should ensure that the workplace is conducive to the physical and mental health of its employees. Employers are required to set up preventive measures and address any workplace hazard when present.

For a detailed explanation of these laws in relation to your WCB injury payouts, speak with a personal injury lawyer in your area.

Workers’ Compensation Boards (WCBs)

Every employer in Canada is required to register with their respective provincial WCB. They are also required to remit payments of premiums according to the computation set by the WCBs and the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA).

How much do you get from WCB injury payouts in Canada?

While WCB injury payouts are calculated according to the rules set by these WCBs, the details of your case will dictate the specific amount you’ll be getting.

As such, it’s better to consult a personal injury lawyer to know an estimate value of what you should be getting.

Here are factors that may affect your WCB injury payouts, which a personal injury lawyer can help with:

Workers’ compensation premium

Each provincial WCB has different workers’ compensation premiums. The rates of these premiums depend on two factors:

  • the risk of future workplace injuries in the industry
  • the worth or value of the insured

Knowing how compensation premiums are calculated will guide you on how much WCB injury payouts you can claim. This is set by law or by your WCB and has already been paid by your employer.

Benefits under the WCBs

When a workplace or work-related injury or illness occurs, employers and employees alike are required to report such incidents to their provincial WCBs. This will trigger your WCB benefits, specifically WCB injury payouts.

There are benefits that the WCBs offer as part of a WCB injury payout. Talking to your employer, your WCB, or a personal injury lawyer will help you determine which of these benefits are appropriate for your situation.

Payroll replacement

WCB injury payouts will replace 90% of your salary or net earnings while you recover from the work-related injury or illness.

The actual amount will still depend on your current situation:

  • If you cannot work while you’re recovering, you will receive the equivalent of 90% of your net earnings
  • If you’re able to work at reduced hours or under a different temporary role, you will receive 90% of the difference of your actual net income and your net wage rate

Payroll replacement will start on the day that you’re injured.

Medical treatments and other assistance

Aside from payroll replacement, you can also have your medical treatments paid for by your WCB. This is to maximize your payroll replacement so that it won’t be used for medical treatments.

The same applies to other assistance, if your situation justifies them, such as:

  • housecleaning and personal care
  • longer-term personal care assistance
  • travel and accommodation during medical treatments

Watch this video to know more about medical treatments that you’re entitled to:

If you have questions on medical treatments or other benefits under your WCB, contact a personal injury lawyer in your province. For employers and employees in Toronto, for example, contact a personal injury lawyer in Ontario as ranked by Lexpert.

Permanent functional impairment award

You may be entitled to a lump sum payment for any permanent disability due to the workplace injury you’ve suffered. This will be based on an assessment after undergoing medical treatment (e.g., surgery).

Assessments for permanent functional impairment award or long-term disability benefits are done after 2 years.

Taxes and WCB injury payouts

Taxes may also affect your payouts from the WCB. For example, payroll or wage replacement are generally not taxable; however, you still must report these benefits to the CRA.

Benefits from other programs

Your work-related disability or injury could qualify you for other benefits under the Canada Pension Plan (CPP) and/or your private insurance provider. However, your WCB injury payouts may be affected by these other benefits.

For instance, if you’ve applied for long-term CPP disability benefits and similar benefits from the WCB, either the CPP or the WCB will reduce the benefits that you’re receiving from them. The same applies to wage replacements for short-term disability benefits.

Appeal your WCB injury payout

If you disagree with the decision of your WCB, or think that you’ve been treated unfairly, you can appeal your case. Consider talking to your lawyer about how to approach this appeal.

You can appeal the process on how the WCB arrived at your injury payouts. You can also file a complaint on how you were treated by the WCB case manager, adjudicator, or any other WCB staff.

The appeals process is unique for every provincial WCB. Complaints and appeals are first handled by the WCB itself. If there are errors found or if your claims are warranted, you will address these issues.

For example, Ontario’s WSIB has its Appeals Resolution Officer (ARO); for WCB Alberta, they have the Dispute Resolution and Decision Review Body (DRDRB).

If you still disagree with their decision, you can file an appeal with a different body or tribunal.

For example, in Ontario, decisions of the ARO can be appealed before the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT).  Meanwhile, appeals against decisions made by WCB Alberta’s DRDRB may be filed with the Appeals Commission.

To know more about WCB injury payouts in Canada, talk to any of the Lexpert-Ranked personal injury lawyers in Canada.