Workers in receipt of a future economic loss (FEL) benefit, or a FEL sustainability benefit, are entitled to receive a FEL supplement if, within 12 months of a determination that there is a significant deterioration in their clinical condition, they co-operate and participate in:
- a medical rehabilitation (MR) program, or
- return-to-work (RTW) activities, see 19-02-08, RTW Co-operation Obligations.
The supplement is added to the FEL benefit. The combined total of the FEL benefit and the supplement equals 90 per cent of the worker’s pre-injury net average earnings, see 18-04-06, Initial Determination - Where Suitable Occupation has been Determined. A supplement paid based on participation in an MR program or RTW activities ends upon completion of the program or activities.
The purpose of this policy is to outline when a worker is entitled to receive the FEL supplement following a significant deterioration of the worker's condition.
Supplementary benefit duration
An MR program is any course of medical or paramedical treatment or care for a work-related injury/disease. The purpose of an MR program is to bring the worker to a state of maximum medical recovery so that the worker may return to suitable and available employment. For additional information about MR programs, see 18-04-11, Supplements for Programs and Return-to-Work Activities Before and After 24 Months and 18-06-03, Definitions for Adjudicating Pre-1998 Claims.
Generally, an MR program does not simply consist of the continued use of prescription medication and/or maintenance physiotherapy or chiropractic treatments.
A worker is considered to be in an MR program if, but not limited to, the following:
- receiving active treatment due to a recurrence of the work-related injury/disease
- attending a WSIB-arranged specialist consultation, and/or
- having a prosthesis repaired or replaced.
A significant deterioration refers to a marked degree of deterioration in the work-related impairment that is demonstrated by a measurable change in clinical findings.
To determine if there is evidence of a significant deterioration, the WSIB should consider factors such as:
- the need for further active clinical/health care intervention to improve the worker’s condition (e.g., surgery)
- establishment of objective clinical evidence to support a significant deterioration
- evidence of increased clinical precautions or whether functional abilities have changed (i.e., evidence of an increase in restricted activities may support a finding of significant temporary deterioration), or
- job change impacts.
For additional information, see 15-02-05, Recurrences.
If a worker experiences a significant deterioration in their clinical condition that is:
- temporary, or
- likely to be permanent, and
- where a non-economic loss (NEL) redetermination may be appropriate,
the FEL supplement is payable from the start of the deterioration/recurrence provided that the worker is co-operating and participating in an MR program.
The supplement ends when:
- the worker no longer participates in the MR program
- the temporary significant deterioration ends, or
- the NEL redetermination concludes that there is no increase in the degree of the worker’s permanent impairment.
If a worker is co-operating and participating in RTW activities, the FEL supplement is payable from the start of the activities.
The supplement ends when:
- the worker no longer participates in RTW activities, or
- the RTW activities are concluded.
Post-60 month review - supplementary benefit entitlement
Following the final FEL review at 60 months post-initial determination, a worker may be entitled to a FEL supplement if:
- the worker experiences a significant deterioration in their work-related clinical condition, and
- the worker co-operates and participates in an MR program or RTW activities.
If a worker experiences a significant deterioration (recurrence) after 60 months post-initial FEL determination, the WSIB may either pay supplementary benefits or adjust the FEL benefit from the start of the significant deterioration, provided that entitlement is accepted and the worker is co-operating and participating in an MR program or RTW activities, see 18-04-20, Final FEL Benefit Review.
Although supplementary benefits may be paid at the outset in these cases, the WSIB should conduct a further review of the FEL benefit before that review opportunity ceases. The review should normally take place when a significant temporary deterioration ends, or at the completion of an MR program or RTW activities, based on the facts of the case, see 18-04-20, Final FEL Benefit Review.
On January 1 every year, the WSIB indexes ongoing FEL benefits, including the supplement, by applying the indexing factor to the amount payable, see 18-01-14, Annual Indexing.
Loss of retirement income (LRI) benefit
The WSIB sets aside additional funds equal to 10 per cent of every FEL payment, including FEL supplements, for the worker's LRI benefit, see 18-04-17, Loss of Retirement Income Benefits (Accidents from January 2, 1990 to December 31, 1997).
This policy applies to all decisions made for entitlement periods on or after March 1, 2021, for accidents from January 2, 1990 to December 31, 1997.
This document replaces 18-04-12 dated January 2, 2018.
This document was previously published as:
18-04-12 dated January 2, 2015
18-04-12 dated February 15, 2013
18-04-12 dated October 3, 2007
18-04-12 dated October 12, 2004
18-04-12 dated December 24, 2003
18-04-12 dated June 15 1999
7.11 dated January 1, 1998.
Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, as amended
Sections 102, 106, 107, 107.1, 108
Workers’ Compensation Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended
Sections 42, 43, 44
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