Home Modification

Policy

The WSIB will authorize home modifications to facilitate independent living when a worker sustains a permanent total disability/severe impairment.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to outline the criteria for the payment of initial and subsequent home modifications.

Guidelines

Home modifications may be authorized to provide access to an area within the home, and any other areas utilized for ordinary living necessities, e.g., modification of a garage to provide access for a vehicle with an extended roof or installation of an automatic garage door opener.

Home modifications may also be extended to a worker under the WSIB's work reintegration program if the worker is clinically capable of engaging or continuing in homebound employment.

Entitlement criteria

Provisions of this policy do not extend to a worker whose condition is temporary in nature.

Entitlement for home modifications will be evaluated if

  • the worker is totally and permanently disabled/severely impaired due to a work-related condition, or
  • the worker is totally and permanently disabled/severely impaired due to a work-related condition and by a non-worked-related condition, where the work-related condition is the primary factor and such assistance is not available through other agencies or sources.

Authorization

More than once only basis

Home modifications may be authorized on more than a once only basis when re-location is necessitated by circumstances beyond the worker's control. For example,

  • deterioration in physical condition
  • residence not suitable for further modification
  • worker requires medical/attendant care not available in present locale.

All authorizations and conditions are communicated, in writing, to the worker and where applicable, to other interested parties.

Home modifications may also be provided to surviving spouses, see 20-02-04, Work Transition Plans for Surviving Spouses.

Principal residence

The home to be modified must be the worker's principal residence.

When modification to more than one residence is requested, consideration will be given having regard for individual circumstances.

Rental property

If the worker's principal residence is a rental property, written authorization to conduct the modifications must be obtained from the owner of the premises.

Existing structure

Home modifications will be applied to existing structures whenever possible. If modifications to existing structures are not feasible, additions may be constructed to achieve the necessary modifications. If such additions are not practical, the equivalent funds may be applied towards the purchase of a new home.

Conform to building codes

Home modifications must conform to all municipal by-laws, and provincial and federal government regulations.

Maintenance/repair

Where a home modification entails installation of an assistive device, the costs associated with normal maintenance, repair and/or replacement are the responsibility of the WSIB unless damage to the device is attributable to misuse or is in conflict with the warranty requirements or recommended operating instructions.

The worker will be responsible for ensuring appropriate maintenance is carried out as required.

Other boards or commissions

Where other compensation boards or commissions are involved, their authorization should be obtained.

Application date

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

Document History

This document replaces 17-06-08 dated April 6, 2009.

This document was previously published as:
17-06-08 dated October 12, 2004
06-05-05 dated July 1989.

References

Legislative Authority

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, as amended
Sections 2(1), 32, 33, 42, 102, 108

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

Minute

Administrative
#16, January 28, 2013, Page 505