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 return-to-work (RTW) activities, and
- recommended by the worker's health professional.
The purpose of this policy is to outline when the WSIB will pay for the purchase, training, care and maintenance of guide/support dogs.
For a definition of severely impaired workers, see 17-06-02, Independent Living Allowance.
Health professional's recommendation
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).
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.
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.
This policy applies to all decisions made on or after March 1, 2021, for all accidents.
This document replaces 17-06-04 dated February 15, 2013.
This document was previously published as:
17-06-04 dated January 2, 2007
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.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, as amended
Sections 32, 33
Workers' Compensation Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended
Sections 50, 52
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