In January 2018, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) changed how it adjusts benefits for injured workers and survivors. Before the change, recipients of full benefits enjoyed yearly increases based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI). But recipients of partial benefits received smaller increases. With these changes, all benefit types are indexed to the CPI.
The WSIB also changed the basis used to calculate yearly adjustments. The indexing factor was applied to pre-injury earnings, and then the WSIB calculated benefits payable. Since the change, the WSIB first calculates benefits payable and then applies the indexing factor to adjust for inflation.
These changes could affect your business-owner clients, who are likely to see an increase in future claims costs. Higher future claims might mean higher premium costs for insuring workers against disability. The WSIB uses actuarial tables to estimate future claims costs. Along with your clients, you should familiarize yourself with these tables to know what to expect. On the bright side, any additional premiums are tax-deductible.
For your clients who receive benefits, the WSIB’s changes should be welcome ones. Your clients are likely to have more money in their pockets this year than last, which could result in tax implications that you can help them with.
The WSIB issued two additional pieces of good news to those injured before 1990. One, the federal Old Age Security maximum no longer applies to recipients of the permanent disability supplement. Two, receiving Old Age Security no longer reduces eligibility for the permanent disability supplement additional amount.
The WSIB’s rule changes affect business owners as well as workers. By understanding the changes, you can help both get the most out of them.