2021 Annual indexing letters

Every December the WSIB begins mailing annual indexing letters to people, outlining any cost-of-living adjustment to their benefits for the coming year.

Beginning January 1, 2021, people on WSIB benefits will receive a cost-of-living adjustment of 1.0 per cent. This amount is fully indexed to the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

If you have further questions, please call 1-800-387-0750 between 7:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

Questions and Answers

Why does the WSIB index benefits?

On January 1 of each year, in line with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA), we adjust the benefits for cost-of-living increases annually. Indexation provides protection for people injured at work and for their survivors against the effects of inflation over time.

Who determines the amount (or percentage) of the cost-of-living adjustment?

The rules for calculating the percentage – or indexing factor – that the WSIB must use to adjust ongoing benefit amounts payable are in s. 49 (1) of the WSIA. 

Subsection 49 (1) of WSIA says that the WSIB’s indexing factor must be equal to the percentage change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Canada for all items for the 12-month period ending on October 31 of the previous year, as published by Statistics Canada. This is the only percentage the WSIB may use to adjust ongoing benefit amounts payable.  

Following the WSIA, WSIB’s indexation factor is based on the federal CPI. The CPI is the most relevant measure of the cost of living. It is weighted to reflect the buying patterns of the average Canadian household. Goods and services reflected in the CPI include food, housing, transportation, furniture, clothing, recreation and other items. 

Why is the WSIB indexation factor of 1.0 per cent different from the CPI 12-month change published in the Statistics Canada Consumer Price Index Portal?

The WSIB uses the 12-month average CPI from the period November 2019 to October 2020 and compares it to the 12-month average CPI from the period November 2018 to October 2019. The Consumer Price Index Portal, meanwhile, does not use averages.  Instead, it takes the CPI from December 2020 compared to December 2019. The WSIB’s period of CPI used in calculating the indexing factor is specified in Section 49(1) of WSIA. 

What is my new Non-Economic Loss (NEL) or pension amount?

The indexing percentage noted in your letter applies to the amount you were receiving in 2020. The increase is effective January 1, 2021.