Guide and Support Dogs

Policy

Severely impaired workers may be entitled to a guide dog or support dog if it is

  • necessary to enhance the worker's independent living and quality of life, or
  • necessary to help in the worker's work reintegration activities, and recommended by the worker's health professional.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline when the WSIB will pay for the purchase, training, care and maintenance of guide/support dogs.

Guidelines

For a definition of severely impaired workers, see 17-06-02, Independent Living Allowance.

Health professional's recommendation

Blind workers

Guide dogs for severely impaired workers who are blind must be recommended by the worker's treating health professional or the Canadian National Institute for the Blind (CNIB).

Deaf workers

Support dogs, for severely impaired workers who are completely deaf or who have significant immobility, must be recommended by the worker's treating health professional.

Completely deaf workers who have been rated for less than a 60% non-economic loss (NEL) benefit, or less than a 100% permanent disability (PD) benefit (e.g., for noise induced hearing loss) may also be entitled to a support dog if recommended by their treating health professional. 

Payment

Initial costs

The WSIB pays for the purchase and training of a guide dog or support dog, and for mobility training for the worker. The purchase and training of the dog should take place in Ontario unless otherwise approved by the WSIB.

Routine veterinary care and maintenance

The WSIB provides an allowance to cover routine veterinary care and maintenance costs, e.g., nutritional needs, annual examinations, and inoculations. The allowance is paid annually as a lump sum. No receipts are required. For the current allowance for guide and support dogs, see 18-01-05, Table of Rates.

Extraordinary veterinary care

The WSIB also pays for extraordinary veterinary care and treatment. This includes unforeseen health problems, accidents, illnesses, and euthanasia. The actual cost of such care and treatment is payable upon submission of appropriate receipts or accounts.

Application date

This policy applies to all decisions made on or after February 15, 2013, for all accidents.

Document History

This document replaces 17-06-04 dated January 3, 2007.

This document was previously published as:
17-06-04 dated October 12, 2004
17-06-04 dated April 6, 2001
17-06-04 dated June 15, 1999
06-05-06 dated March 28, 1991.

References

Legislative Authority

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, as amended
Sections 32, 33

Workers' Compensation Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended
Sections 50, 52

Minute

Administrative
#15, January 28, 2013, Page 504