Policy updates/clarifications

Need more information on the latest word on a policy? Find it here. Learn about Policy development at the WSIB.

For copies of past policies, please email polpub@wsib.on.ca or phone 416-344-4355 or 1-800-387-0750, ext. 416-344-4355.

    Policy Agenda 2021

    The annual Policy Agenda outlines our policy priorities for the coming year and includes items that may involve stakeholder consultation.

    The key areas of policy activity in 2021 will be to provide support for the transformational changes under our Strategic Plan (2019-2021) and to continue to advise and support the organization’s response to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We will develop an Occupational Disease Strategy, and help implement recommendations from the Ontario Government’s Operational Review of the WSIB, and the Value for Money Audit on the Serious Injury Program. Work will continue on ongoing projects from prior agendas, such as supporting the implementation of the Rate Framework Modernization, and the revised return-to-work policy suite. We will also conduct the scheduled review of the medical cannabis policy and commence the review of four additional policies scheduled for cyclical review in 2021.

    In addition to the above, we will maintain policy capacity to support any other legislative or regulatory changes that may occur, and to address unanticipated policy items that may arise throughout the year.

    See our 2021 Policy Agenda (PDF).

    See our past policy agendas

    2021 premium rate hold

    *Effective January 1, 2021*

    In response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workers’ compensation system, the WSIB decided to assign all businesses the same rate in 2021 that they paid in 2020, with limited exceptions. Projected premium rates are still provided to businesses.

    The following policies are effective January 1, 2021. They have been revised to outline how the premium rate hold is applied to businesses.

    Below are the policies that were in place and effective prior to January 1, 2021:

    Below are comparison documents of the new and prior versions:

    Housekeeping changes to 14-01-01, The Classification Structure

    *Effective January 1, 2021*

    On January 1, 2021, changes to Schedule 1 of Ontario Regulation 175/98 came into effect, which splits current subclass G1 into subclass G1 and subclass G6.

    The WSIB updated OPM 14-01-01, The Classification Structure to reflect the additional class, raising the number of classes from 34 to 35. In addition, the new subclass was added to the policy’s appendix, and subclass G1 was renamed.

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to January 1, 2021:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    Housekeeping changes to the Employer Classification Manual

    *Effective January 1, 2021*

    On January 1, 2021, amendments to Ontario Regulation 175/98 came into effect to reflect the splitting of subclass G1. The regulatory change is reflected in the online ECM, and the new subclasses are:

    • G1 Residential building construction
    • G6 Non-residential building construction 

     As a result of this addition of a new subclass, two new ECM NAICS were created:

    In addition, a number of housekeeping changes were required to other ECM documents to reflect the G1 split decision, as well as updating terminology and correcting typos. 

    The below chart includes the original ECM documents with tracked changes to reflect the housekeeping changes.

    Current ECM NAICS Prior versions Comparison document
    NAICS 236210 Industrial building and structure construction  PDF PDF
    NAICS 236220 Commercial and institutional building construction  PDF PDF
    NAICS 236110 Residential building construction  PDF PDF
    NAICS 007010 Non-exempt partners and executive officers in construction – G1 PDF PDF
    NAICS 001150 Supply of labour to class G1 PDF PDF
    NAICS 624120 Services for the elderly and persons with disabilities  PDF PDF
    NAICS 814110 Private households PDF PDF
    NAICS 541710 Research and development in the physical, engineering and life sciences PDF PDF
    NAICS 313110 Fibre, yarn and thread mills PDF PDF
    NAICS 313210 Broad-woven fabric mills PDF PDF
    NAICS 313220 Narrow fabric mills and Schiffli machine embroidery PDF PDF
    NAICS 313310 Textile and fabric finishing  PDF PDF
    NAICS 314990 All other textile product mills  PDF PDF
    NAICS 339920 Sporting and athletic goods manufacturing  PDF PDF
    NAICS 414130 Piece goods, notions and other dry good merchant wholesalers PDF PDF
    NAICS 418410 Chemical (except agricultural) and allied product merchant wholesalers PDF PDF
    NAICS 417930 Professional machinery, equipment and supplies merchant wholesalers  PDF PDF
    NAICS 611710 Educational support services  PDF PDF
    NAICS 623222 Homes for persons with psychiatric disabilities  PDF PDF
    NAICS 623993 Homes for persons with physical disabilities  PDF PDF
    NAICS 623210 Residential care facilities for persons with developmental disabilities  PDF PDF
    NAICS 813310 Social advocacy organizations  PDF PDF


    Special NEER Adjustment in 2021

    *Effective January 1, 2021*

    The final issue of NEER refunds and surcharges occurred in 2020 and considered accident years 2016-2019. The final review of the 2017-2019 accident years occurred in 2020, rather than the full four year review, as our experience rating programs came to an end in 2020.

    Claims that drew benefits early in 2020, but not later in the year, were classified as active in the NEER calculation. Since there are no future issues of NEER, there is no regular opportunity for their classification to change to inactive, as would have happened previously.

    To respond to this issue, the WSIB will identify 2017-2019 accident year claims that were classified as active in the 2020 issue and drew no benefits between April 1, 2020 and September 30, 2020. Any claims identified will be re-classified as inactive and the 2020 issue will be adjusted in 2021 as appropriate. Adjustments may increase a rebate, reduce a surcharge, and/or turn a surcharge into a rebate.

    The NEER policy has been updated to reflect this change as well as some minor changes to align with policy formatting guidelines. The revised policy is effective January 1, 2021.

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to January 1, 2021:

    Below is a comparison document of the revised and prior version: 

    Policy change related to Emphysema Due to Alpha 1 Anti-Trypsin Deficiency

    Under the Genetic Non-Discrimination Act, the WSIB is prohibited from requiring an individual to undergo a genetic test or to require the disclosure of a genetic test result as a condition of providing services to the individual. As a result, Operational Policy manual (OPM) document #16-02-16, “Emphysema Due to Alpha 1 Anti-Trypsin Deficiency” has been rescinded and removed from the OPM.  

    Previous policy

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to January 1, 2021

    2021 Benefit rates

    *Effective January 1, 2021*

    Each year, benefit rates are reviewed and revised appropriately to ensure that people are fairly compensated in a financially responsible and accountable way. 

    For 2021, benefit rates that have increased are:

    • Independent Living Allowance
    • Personal Care Allowance – General Rate
    • Personal Care Allowance – Personal Rate
    • Personal Care Allowance – Skilled Rate
    • Guide and Support Dog Allowance
    • Non-Professional Escort Fee

    Operational Policy Manual document 18-01-05, Table of Rates has been revised to reflect the benefit rates in effect as of January 1, 2021. These rates were posted in advance on December 16, 2020.

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to January 1, 2021:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    2021 indexed values

    *Effective January 1, 2021

    Every year, Operational Policy Manual (OPM) documents 18-01-02, Benefit Dollar Amounts - Accidents from 1998 and 18-01-03, Benefit Dollar Amounts - Accidents before 1998 are updated to include the current year’s indexed values. The indexing factor for 2021 is 1 per cent.  

    Prior versions

    Revisions to Clothing Allowance Policy

    *Effective December 1, 2020*

    Operational Policy Manual document 17-07-03, Clothing Allowance has been revised to make minor changes to confirm the current WSIB practice by removing the requirement that an annual medical report by the treating health professional be submitted as part of the clothing allowance’s annual application process.

    Other changes have also been made to remove outdated and vague elements in the policy and to further improve its clarity and readability.

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to December 1, 2020:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior version:

    Scheduled Review: Annual Indexing

    *Effective December 1, 2020

    The 2020 Policy Agenda (PDF) identified for scheduled review, Operational Policy Manual (OPM) document 18-01-14, Annual Indexing. The review included consultation with internal partners, review of relevant internal and external policy questions received by the Operational Policy Branch (OPB), and a scan for relevant WSIAT decisions.

    As a result of the review, only housekeeping changes were made.

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to December 1, 2020:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior version:

    Return-to-work (RTW) policy review

    *Effective November 30, 2020*

    At the end of 2019, the WSIB completed a review of seven return-to-work (RTW) policies. This work was part of a scheduled review in support of our current Return-to-Work and Recovery Services Strategy. The review included a targeted stakeholder consultation with the Chair’s Advisory Committees and Schedule 2 Executive members (Return-to-work [RTW] policy review - Stakeholder feedback themes and WSIB response [PDF]). The revised policies were originally planned for release in early 2020, however due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, we temporarily delayed their release to focus on other priorities.

    As a result of the review, we have updated the suite of RTW policies to improve readability, clarify aspects of the RTW process, and incorporate current program terminology. We have also re-organized seven (7) policies into four (4) new policies.

    While the revised suite of RTW policies looks different, the obligations of injured or ill people and businesses have not changed.

    Highlights of the changes include:

    • Separating guidance on co-operation and re-employment obligations into two standalone policies to make the guidance easier to understand in cases where re-employment obligations do not apply.
    • Providing additional guidance around concepts such as productive work and travel considerations when determining availability of work, to address frequently asked questions.
    • Adapting content in the existing re-employment policies for the construction industry and using it to provide greater clarity in the general re-employment policy.
    • Providing additional guidance on re-employment in special cases, such as temporary employment agencies, to address frequently asked questions.
    • Making minor revisions to clarify aspects of the WSIB’s approach to RTW assessments and plans (with or without training).

    The previous suite of seven (7) policies has been re-organized into four (4) new policies. The four new policies that were posted in advance at the end of October are now in effect:

    The following are the policies that were in effect up to November 29, 2020:

     
    Below are the annotated versions of the new policies highlighting the differences between the new and prior policies:

    2021 premium rate hold

    In response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the workers’ compensation system, the WSIB has decided to assign all businesses the same rate in 2021 that they paid in 2020, with limited exceptions. Projected premium rates will still be provided to businesses. 

    The following policies are being advance posted and will be effective January 1, 2021. They have been revised to outline how the premium rate hold will be applied to businesses.

    Below are comparison documents of the new and prior versions. 

    Correction: 18-01-03, Benefit Dollar Amounts - Accidents before 1998  

    In 2018, Operational Policy Manual (OPM) documents 18-01-02, Benefit Dollar Amounts - Accidents before 1998 and 18-01-03, Benefit Dollar Amounts - Accidents before 1998 were reformatted. One purpose of the reformatting was to include the indexed values used to calculate full benefits that previously did not appear in these documents. 

    With this reformatting, full temporary disability benefits values different from the existing partial temporary disability values were added to 18-01-03, Benefit Dollar Amounts - Accidents before 1998. However, in accordance with the Workers’ Compensation Act, 1990, as continued and amended by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, the WSIB uses the same values for calculating full temporary disability benefits as it does for partial temporary disability benefits. Despite the inclusion of these different amounts in 18-01-03, the WSIB has continued to calculate full temporary disability benefits in accordance with the legislation and, as a result, the inclusion of these amounts has not affected any benefit payments. OPM document 18-01-03, Benefit Dollar Amounts - Accidents before 1998 has been updated to remove these different amounts to correct this error. We regret and apologize for any inconvenience. 

    18-01-03, Benefit Dollar Amounts - Accidents before 1998

    Authorization of Employer Representatives for Employer Accounts

    *Effective August 1, 2020*

    Operational Policy Manual document 21-01-02, Authorization of Employer Representatives for Employer Accounts has been revised to reflect changes undertaken to simplify and streamline the process for authorizing employer representatives.

    In addition to the above, seven other Operational Policy Manual documents have been revised to make housekeeping changes to reflect the new process for authorizing employer representatives.

    Housekeeping policies Prior versions Comparison document
    14-02-02, Registration PDF PDF
    14-02-03, Purchase Certificates  PDF PDF
    14-02-05, Closures  PDF PDF
    14-04-02, Security for Payment PDF PDF
    14-04-03, Writs of Seizure and Sale PDF PDF
    14-04-04, Collections Based on Financial Hardship  PDF PDF
    21-01-01, Access to Employer Information  PDF PDF

    Rate framework policies

    *Effective January 1, 2020*

    Our new rate-setting model changes how we set and adjust premium rates for businesses. To support the new model, we have created new Operational Policy Manual documents and revised others. We consulted with stakeholders on the core policies that support these changes and posted them in advance. Details on the policy consultation, and the WSIB’s response, can be found on the Rate Framework Policy Consultation page of our website.

    January 28, 2020 update: Temporary Employment Agency (TEA) transition

    To help TEAs move to our new model, we have revised the TEA Transition to the Rate Framework policy to introduce a one-year transition approach (see link to the policy in the chart).

    In 2020, a starting point rate will be determined for TEAs based on their 2019 rate group rate and 2016-2018 experience rating adjustments (if applicable). TEAs will then pay the lesser of their starting point rate, or the class rate, for each North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) class they supply labour. 

    In 2021, TEAs will pay the class rate in each NAICS class they supply labour, to more closely align their rates with their client employers.

    Core policies Prior policies

    12-01-04, Coverage Status

    12-01-04, Schedules 1 & 2 (PDF)

    14-01-01, The Classification Structure

    14-01-01, The Classification Scheme (PDF)
    14-01-05, Special Ancillary Rules (PDF) rescinded

    14-01-06, Associated Employers

    14-01-06, Associated Employers Policy (PDF)

    14-01-07, Single and Multiple Premium Rates

    14-01-02, Single Classification (PDF) rescinded
    14-01-03, Segregated Payrolls (PDF) rescinded
    14-01-04, Aggregated Payroll (PDF) rescinded

    14-01-08, Temporary Employment Agencies

    New policy

    14-01-09, Transition to the Rate Framework

    New policy

    14-01-10, Temporary Employment Agencies Transition to the Rate Framework

    New policy

    14-01-11, Non-Profit Organizations Transition to the Rate Framework

    New policy

    14-02-01, Employer Level Premium Rate Setting *

    New policy

    14-02-06, Employer Premium Adjustments

    14-02-06, Employer Premium Adjustments (PDF)

    * The “Premium Rate Setting Administrative Practice Document” referenced in policy 14-02-01, Employer Level Premium Rate Setting will be available soon.

     

    In addition to the above, another 32 Operational Policy Manual documents have been revised to make consequential and/or housekeeping changes to reflect our new rate-setting model, and three have been rescinded.

    Consequential/housekeeping policies Prior versions Comparison document

    12-01-01, Who is an Employer?

    PDF

    PDF

    12-01-02, Employer by Application

    PDF

    PDF

    12-03-02, Optional Insurance

    PDF

    PDF

    13-02-02, NEER (New Experimental Experience Rating Plan)

    PDF

    PDF

    13-02-04, Merit Adjusted Premium Program

    PDF

    rescinded

    13-02-05, Adjustments to CAD-7 Refunds and Surcharges

    PDF

    rescinded

    13-02-06, Construction Industry Plan (CAD 7)

    PDF

    PDF

    13-02-07, Adjustments to NEER Refunds and Surcharges

    PDF

    rescinded

    14-02-03, Purchase Certificates

    PDF

    PDF

    14-02-04, Clearance Certificate

    PDF

    PDF

    14-02-05, Closures

    PDF

    PDF

    14-02-07, Employer Non-Compliance Interest and Charges

    PDF

    PDF

    14-02-08, Determining Insurable Earnings

    PDF

    PDF

    14-02-14, Reinstatement of Accounts

    PDF

    PDF

    14-02-16, Credit Interest on Appeals

    PDF

    PDF

    14-02-17, Fatal Claim Premium Adjustment

    PDF

    PDF

    14-02-18, Insurable Earnings - Construction

    PDF

    PDF

    14-02-19, Clearance Certificate in Construction

    PDF

    PDF

    14-03-06, Minimum Premium

    PDF

    PDF

    14-03-09, Premium Remittance

    PDF

    PDF

    14-03-10, Statement of Account

    PDF

    PDF

    14-03-12, Reconciliation

    PDF

    PDF

    14-04-04, Collections Based on Financial Hardship

    PDF

    PDF

    14-05-01, Transfer of Costs

    PDF

    PDF

    14-05-02, Removal of Costs

    PDF

    PDF

    15-01-05, Third Party Rights of Action

    PDF

    PDF

    15-01-06, Third Party Motor Vehicle Accident Claim Costs

    PDF

    PDF

    18-01-04, Recovery of Benefit-Related Debts

    PDF

    PDF

    21-01-01, Access to Employer Information

    PDF

    PDF

    21-02-01, Disclosure of Claim File Information – General

    PDF

    PDF

    21-02-02, Disclosure of Claim File Information (Issue in dispute)

    PDF

    PDF

    21-02-03, Disclosure of Claim File Information to Employers (No Issue in Dispute)

    PDF

    PDF

    22-01-01, Material Change in Circumstances - Employer

    PDF

    PDF

    22-01-06, Offences and Penalties - External Suppliers of Goods and Services

    PDF

    PDF

    22-01-07, Offences and Penalties - Worker

    PDF

    PDF

    2020 Benefit Rates

    *Effective January 1, 2020*

    Each year, a benefit rate review is carried out and benefit rates are revised appropriately to ensure people are fairly compensated in a financially responsible and accountable way.
    For 2020, benefit rates that have increased are:

    • Independent Living Allowance
    • Personal Care Allowance – Personal Rate
    • Personal Care Allowance – Skilled Rate
    • Guide and Support Dog Allowance

    The benefit rates outlined in 18-01-05, Table of Rates, are effective January 1, 2020 until December 31, 2020.

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to January 1, 2020:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    2020 indexed values

    *Effective January 1, 2020*

    Every year, Operational Policy Manual (OPM) documents 18-01-02, Benefit Dollar Amounts – Accidents from 1998 and 18-01-03, Benefit Dollar Amounts – Accidents before 1998, are updated to include the current year’s indexed values. The indexing factor for 2020 is 1.9 per cent.

    18-01-02, Benefit Dollar Amounts – Accidents  from 1998
    18-01-03, Benefit Dollar Amounts – Accidents  before 1998

    Prior versions

    Updated Framework for Operational Policy Development and Renewal

    The Framework for Operational Policy Development and Renewal (Framework) (PDF) describes the WSIB’s approach to operational policy development and our commitment to ensuring operational policies are clear, up-to-date and provide appropriate guidance to those that use them.

    Since the Framework was last revised in 2016, we have identified a number of opportunities to update and improve it. Highlights of the changes for 2020 include:

    • updated terminology and alignment with our Strategic Plan for 2019 to 2021,
    • added references to the 2017 amendments to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 regarding policy-making at the WSIB,
    • updated description of the WSIB’s approach to policy consultation.

    Policy revisions related to cannabis for medical purposes

    *Effective December 16, 2019*

    On October 17, 2019, amendments to the federal cannabis regime came into force authorizing the sale of three new classes of cannabis: edible cannabis, cannabis extracts, and cannabis topicals. The new classes of cannabis are authorized for both recreational and medical use.

    As a result, Operational Policy Manual document, 17-01-10, Cannabis for Medical Purposes, has been updated to align with the federal changes. The updated policy will inform, support, and guide decision-making regarding when medical cannabis may be necessary, appropriate, and sufficient health care treatment in the newly expanded medical cannabis environment.

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to December 16, 2019:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    Revisions to health and safety policies

    *Effective November 1, 2019*

    With the launch of the Health & Safety Excellence program on November 1, 2019, the WSIB has recently completed a review of a number of its health and safety policies. The Health and Safety Excellence program is a new voluntary program that replaces the WSIB’s existing financial incentive programs: Workwell, Safe Communities Incentive Program/Small Business Program and Safety Groups Program. Please see wsib.ca/healthandsafety for more information on the Health and Safety Excellence Program, including all of the guidelines on eligibility and program administration.

    As a result of this change, the following Operational Policy Manual documents related to the WSIB’s existing financial incentive programs are obsolete and being rescinded as of Nov. 1, 2019: 13-01-02, Workwell Program, 13-01-03, The Safety Groups Program, 13-02-03, Safe Communities Incentive Program (pre 2002 Entrants), and 13-02-08, Safe Communities Incentive Program (2002 and later entrants).

    Previous policies

    Below are the policies that were in place and effective prior to November 1, 2019:

    Rate Framework Core Policies

    *Effective January 1, 2020*

    In support of the rate framework, six policies have been approved following an extensive policy consultation. For details on the consultation and the WSIB’s response, please see our rate framework policy consultation webpage.

    October 23, 2019 update: Four of the core Rate Framework policies were updated to account for changes that have occurred since they were initially advance posted, for more details, see our rate framework policy consultation webpage.

    September 25, 2019 update: The Non-Profit Organizations Transition to the Rate Framework policy for our new premium rate setting model has been approved, for more details, see our rate framework policy consultation webpage.

    June 5, 2019 update: The Temporary Employment Agencies Transition to the Rate Framework policy for our new premium rate setting model has been approved. For more details, see our rate framework policy consultation webpage

    March 7, 2019 update: The Transition to the Rate Framework policy for our new premium rate setting model has been approved, for more details, see our rate framework policy consultation webpage.

    December 6, 2018 Update: The Temporary Employment Agencies policy has been approved, for more details, see our rate framework policy consultation webpage.

    New policy related to cannabis for medical purposes

    *Effective March 1, 2019*

    The new Operational Policy Manual document, 17-01-10, Cannabis for Medical Purposes, sets out the circumstances in which medical cannabis may be necessary, appropriate, and sufficient health care treatment as a result of a work-related injury or disease.

    The new medical cannabis policy applies to all purchases of medical cannabis and vapourizers made on or after March 1, 2019, for all accident dates. We advance posted the new medical cannabis policy on January 2, 2019 to allow stakeholders time to become familiar the policy.

    For more detail about the policy, please review the Explanatory Note (PDF).

    General information about medical cannabis as a health care benefit can also be found on the medical cannabis page.

    2019 indexed values

    *Effective January 1, 2019*

    Every year, Operational Policy Manual (OPM) documents 18-01-02, Benefit Dollar Amounts - Accidents from 1998 and 18-01-03, Benefit Dollar Amounts - Accidents before 1998 are updated to include the current year’s indexed values. The indexing factor for 2019 is 2.3 per cent.

    Prior versions

    Policy revisions related to Premium Remittance Policy

    *Effective January 1, 2019*

    In September 2018, we let businesses know about changes to our billing cycle thresholds at our Annual General Meeting. We are simplifying our billing cycles to reduce the time you have to spend on administration related to your WSIB coverage and to make it easier for you to pay your premiums and stay up to date with us. We’ve made minor amendments to OPM document 14-03-09, Premium Remittance to reflect these changes.

    Please see our Reporting and Payment Frequency webpage for more information.

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to January 1, 2019:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    2019 Benefit Rates

    *Effective January 1, 2019*

    Each year a Benefit Rate Review is performed and benefit rates are revised appropriately to ensure that people are fairly compensated in a financially responsible and accountable way.

    For 2019, benefit rates that will be increasing are:

    • Independent Living Allowance
    • Personal Care Allowance – Personal Rate
    • Personal Care Allowance – Skilled Rate
    • Guide and Support Dog Allowance

    The benefit rate changes for 2019 are effective January 1, 2019 until December 31, 2019. Please see 18-01-05, Table of Rates.

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    Revisions to Loss of Retirement Income Benefits Policies

    *Effective December 6, 2018*

    We have recently completed a scheduled review of our Loss of Retirement Income Benefits policies. As a result, we are making a number of minor revisions to better reflect the aims of the policy, and are re-organizing the policy content for more clarity. The revisions do not have any impacts on entitlement.

    This review encompassed Policy 18-03-07, Loss of Retirement Income Benefits (Accidents on or after January 1, 1998) and Policy 18-04-17, Loss of Retirement Income Benefits (Accidents from January 2, 1990 to December 31, 1997).

    Revisions were made to areas such as

    • policy and purpose statements,
    • definitions (i.e., 12 continuous months of LOE payments, pre-retirement death benefits),
    • account maintenance and protecting LRI account balances against investment losses,
    • adjusting LRI contributions if LOE benefits increase or decrease retroactively, and spousal eligibility for LRI death benefits.

    Below are the policies that were in place and effective prior to December 1, 2018:

    Below are the comparison documents of the new and prior versions:

    Policy revisions related to posttraumatic stress disorder in first responders and other designated workers

    *Effective September 1, 2018*

    Under section 14 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA), when certain first responders and designated workers submit a claim for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with a confirmed diagnosis from a psychiatrist or psychologist, we will presume their PTSD is work-related, unless the contrary is shown.

    On May 8, 2018, the provincial government passed Bill 31, the Plan for Care and Opportunity Act (Budget Measures), 2018, which amended section 14 of the WSIA to expand the presumption of work-relatedness for PTSD to include six new categories of workers: nurses who directly provide patient care, provincial bailiffs, probation officers and their supervisors, special constables, and members of police forces  who perform work in a forensic identification unit or a Violent Crime Linkage Analysis System Unit. Bill 31 also amended the WSIA to add employment and diagnostic criteria and transitional provisions for the PTSD presumption for the new categories of workers. The Bill 31 amendments were effective as of May 8, 2018.

    Further details about the PTSD presumption for the new categories of workers is available in Operational Policy Manual document 15-03-13, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder in First Responders and Other Designated Workers, which has been revised to align with the Bill 31 amendments. The revised policy has been approved with an effective date of September 1, 2018.

    Previous policy

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to September 1, 2018:

    Comparison document

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    Policy revisions related to updates to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders

    *Effective September 1, 2018*

    The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is published by the American Psychiatric Association and contains descriptions, symptoms, and other criteria used to diagnose mental disorders. It is updated periodically to reflect scientific advances in the field. The fifth edition of the DSM (DSM-5) was published on May 18, 2013.

    There are a total of five OPM documents which reference psychological injuries and diagnoses according to the DSM. Operational Policy Manual (OPM) documents 15-04-02, Psychotraumatic Disability and 15-04-03, Chronic Pain Disability were revised to ensure consistency with other OPM documents referencing DSM diagnoses. The revised policies have been approved with an effective date of September 1, 2018.

    Previous policies

    Below are the policies that were in place and effective prior to September 1, 2018:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    Pupils in Work Education Programs

    Effective August 1, 2018

    The Ministry of Education offers various work education programs through which secondary school pupils are placed with employers to gain practical work experience.

    Last year, the Ministry conducted a public consultation regarding its work education programs.  As part of this process, the Ministry also consulted with the WSIB regarding issues related to WSIB coverage for pupils participating in these programs.

    As a result, the WSIB has revised policy, 12-04-07, Pupils in Work Education Programs, to ensure it reflects recent Ministry changes. Minor changes have also been made to improve clarity and flow of the policy information. As part of these changes, the policy was renamed “Pupils in Work Education Programs” from “Students in Work Education Programs”.

    The key policy changes include the following:

    • expand WSIB coverage to include work placements that take place on school board property and are supervised by teaching staff,
    • clarify there is WSIB coverage while being transported from the work placement to receive health care,
    • remove job shadowing and job twinning programs from list of work education programs eligible for WSIB coverage (i.e., these programs are to be treated as field trips),
    • provide greater details regarding coverage and calculation of benefits for paid and unpaid placements, and  
    • change references in the title and body of policy #12-04-07 from “students” to “pupils” to align the language across the Education Act, WSIA, and WSIB policy.

    Housekeeping changes were also made to the following policies:

    Below are the policies that were in place and effective prior to August 1, 2018:

    Below are comparison documents of the new and prior versions:

    Policy changes related to Cancers in Firefighters and Fire Investigators

    *Effective July 1, 2018*

    In the spring of 2018, the provincial government amended the Firefighters Regulation (Ontario Regulation 253/07, as amended) under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA) to add three new cancers.

    The additional coverage for ovarian, cervical and penile cancer took effect on July 1, 2018, and Operational Policy Manual (OPM) document 23-02-01, Cancers in Firefighters and Fire Investigators has been updated accordingly. 

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to July 1, 2018:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    Housekeeping changes to the Employer Classification Manual

    *Effective May 1, 2018*

    On January 2, 2018, a number of classification units in the Employer Classification Manual (ECM) were revised to reflect changes to O. Reg 175/98. In order to align with these recent changes, housekeeping updates have been made to reflect updated document titles or remove and replace references to documents that no longer exist. In addition, five typos in other ECM documents were also corrected.

    The below chart includes the original ECM documents with tracked changes to reflect the housekeeping changes.

    Policy # Policy name Previous version Tracked version
    D-375-08 Metal Tank Operations Amendment/08 PDF PDF
    D-382-01 Metal Die, Mould, and Pattern Operations PDF PDF
    D-385-01 General Machine Shops PDF PDF
    D-385-02 Automotive Machine Shops PDF PDF
    D-402-02 Turbine and Mechanical Power Transmission Equipment PDF PDF
    D-402-03 Electrical Transformer Operations PDF PDF
    D-403-01 Sawmill and Woodworking Machinery PDF PDF
    D-403-03 Other Machinery and Equipment Operations PDF PDF
    D-406-02 Elevator and Escalator Installation, Service, and Repair Amendment/07 PDF PDF
    D-408-01 Compressor, Pump, and Industrial Fan Operations PDF PDF
    D-408-02 Power Boiler and Heat Exchanger Operations PDF PDF
    D-411-01 Industrial Machinery Operations PDF PDF
    D-411-02 Agricultural Implement Operations PDF PDF
    D-417-01 Aircraft and Aerospace Manufacturing Amendment/06 PDF PDF
    D-432-02 Commercial Trailer Operations PDF PDF
    D-442-01 Railroad Rolling Stock Operations PDF PDF
    D-477-01 Industrial Electrical Equipment Operations PDF PDF
    D-477-02 Electrical Switchgear and Protective Equipment PDF PDF
    F-636-54 Household Furniture and Appliances, Wholesale PDF PDF
    F-670-01 Industrial Machinery and Supplies, Sales PDF PDF
    F-670-08 Farm Machinery and Equipment, Sales Operations PDF PDF
    F-670-09 Construction and Forestry Machinery and Supplies, Sales PDF PDF
    F-670-10 Mining Machinery and Supplies, Sales PDF PDF
    G-707-02 Plumbing,Heating, and Air Conditioning Amendment/08 PDF PDF
    G-737-01 Millwright and Rigging Work Amendment/08 PDF PDF
    G-737-02 Ornamental and Fabricated Metal Installation PDF PDF
    G-755-02 Non-Exempt Partners and Executive Officers in Rate Group 707 PDF PDF
    G-755-05 Non-Exempt Partners and Executive Officers in Rate Group 723 PDF PDF
    G-755-08 Non-Exempt Partners and Executive Officers in Rate Group 737 PDF PDF
    G-755-10 Non-Exempt Partners and Executive Officers in Rate Group 748 PDF PDF
    G-764-01 Homebuilding Operations Amendment/07 PDF PDF
    I-923-03 Other Cleaning Services PDF PDF
    I-929-01 Supply of Non-clerical Labour Operations Amendment/07 PDF PDF
    I-933-08 Industrial Maintenance and Repair Contracting Amendment/06 PDF PDF
    I-944-20 Shoe Repair PDF PDF

    New policy related to medical assistance in dying

    *Effective April 5, 2018*

    In response to the passage of federal Bill C-14, An Act to amend the Criminal Code and to make related amendments to other Acts (medical assistance in dying), the Government of Ontario enacted Bill 84, the Medical Assistance in Dying Statute Law Amendment Act, 2016. This latter piece of legislation amended the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 to provide that a worker who receives medical assistance in dying, is deemed to have died as a result of the injury or disease for which the worker was determined to be eligible to receive medical assistance in dying, if the medical assistance in dying was provided in accordance with federal law.

    The Bill 84 amendments to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 took effect on May 10, 2017.

    The new policy 15-06-09, Medical Assistance in Dying outlines the circumstances under which a worker who receives medical assistance in dying, as a result of a work-related injury or disease, may be entitled to WSIB benefits or services. Such benefits or services may include health care benefits and/or survivor benefits.

    The policy also provides guidelines for those cases where an injured worker who receives medical assistance in dying has a non-work-related condition which may have also impacted his or her eligibility for medical assistance in dying.

    The new policy applies to all decisions with respect to entitlement periods on or after April 5, 2018, for accidents on or after January 1, 1998.

    2018 indexed values

    *Effective January 1, 2018*

    Every year, Operational Policy Manual (OPM) documents 18-01-02, Benefit Dollar Amounts - Accidents from 1998 and 18-01-03, Benefit Dollar Amounts - Accidents before 1998 are updated to include the current year’s indexed values. For 2018, in addition to adding the current year’s indexed values, the OPM documents were revised to:

    • align with the OPM template
    • add information about annual indexing and the indexing factor
    • present the current  year’s indexed values together in one place
    • move the tables with prior years’ values to an appendix

    Prior versions

    Consequential and housekeeping policy revisions related to indexation and benefit calculations

    *Effective January 1, 2018*

    The Operational Policy Manual documents identified have been revised to make

    • consequential changes as a result of the Budget Measures Act, 2015 (Bill 144) and the Budget Measures Act, 2017 (Bill 127), or
    • housekeeping changes following from revisions made to 26 existing benefit payment policies that were revised as a result of Bills 144 and 127 and posted in November 2017.

    View more details about these policy updates.

    New policy related to chronic mental stress and policy revisions related to traumatic mental stress

    *Effective January 1, 2018*

    On May 17, 2017, the provincial government passed Bill 127, Stronger, Healthier Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017. Bill 127 amended section 13 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA) to provide entitlement to benefits under the insurance plan for people with work-related chronic and traumatic mental stress.  To be eligible, chronic mental stress must be predominantly caused by a substantial work-related stressor. Mental stress caused by an employer’s management decisions or actions is generally not covered by the WSIB. For more information, see the Work Related Chronic Mental Stress Policy Consultation webpage.

    On December 14, 2017 the provincial government passed Bill 177, The Stronger, Fairer Ontario Act (Budget Measures), 2017 which adds section 13.1 to the WSIA. Under the new section, people with work-related chronic mental stress that occurred on or after April 29, 2014, and who have not filed a claim with the WSIB for that mental stress before January 1, 2018, may now be eligible for WSIB benefits. People who have not yet received a final decision on their mental stress claim by the WSIB and/or the Workplace Safety and Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) as of January 1, 2018 may also be eligible for benefits. 

    These amendments take effect on January 1, 2018.

    Policy 15-03-14, Chronic Mental Stress

    Entitlement guidelines for chronic mental stress can be found in the new WSIB Operational Policy Manual (OPM) document 15-03-14, Chronic Mental Stress. The new chronic mental stress policy applies to all claims for chronic mental stress with accident dates on or after January 1, 2018. The policy also applies to new claims for chronic mental stress occurring on or after April 29, 2014 and existing claims for chronic mental stress which are pending before the WSIB or the Workplace Safety and Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) as of January 1, 2018.

    Policy 15-03-02, Traumatic Mental Stress

    For entitlement to traumatic mental stress, Bill 127 removed the requirement that the traumatic event be “sudden and unexpected”.  OPM document 15-03-02, Traumatic Mental Stress has been revised to reflect this amendment and to provide additional clarity around the two types of work-related mental stress. The revised traumatic mental stress policy applies to all claims for traumatic mental stress with accident dates on or after January 1, 2018. The policy also applies to new claims for traumatic mental stress occurring on or after April 29, 2014 and existing claims for traumatic mental stress which are pending before the WSIB or the WSIAT as of January 1, 2018.

    Previous policy

    Below is the policy which remains effective for pre-January 1, 2018 traumatic mental stress claims which are not captured by the transitional provisions in the revised traumatic mental stress policy:

    Annotated document

    Below are the comparison documents showing the changes in the two mental stress policies between Bill 127 (September, 2017) and Bill 177 (December, 2017)

    New policy and policy revisions related to indexation and benefit calculations

    *Effective January 1, 2018*

    On December 15, 2015, the provincial government passed the Budget Measures Act, 2015 (Bill 144), and on May 17, 2017 it passed the Budget Measures Act, 2017 (Bill 127). The Bill 144 amendments change how the WSIB indexes ongoing benefits and amounts set out in legislation (which are used to calculate certain benefits). The amendments made as a result of Bill 127 change how the WSIB uses the federal Old Age Security (OAS) benefit amount in the calculation and indexation of supplements paid to workers with accident dates prior to January 2, 1990. They also clarify the minimum used for partial loss of earnings benefits, and update the amounts set out in legislation to reflect the 2017 values.

    To comply with and support the implementation of this new legislation, we have created and posted a new WSIB policy about annual indexing that directly reflects the legislative requirements and are updating 26 other policies.

    The new and updated policies have been approved with an effective date of January 1, 2018. Please review the Explanatory Note (PDF) for more details about the new and updated policies.

    View copies of the past policies, the updated policies, the new policy and the annotated version of each updated policy.

    2018 Benefit rates

    *Effective January 1, 2018*

    Each year a Benefit Rate Review is performed to maintain appropriate rate levels year over year.

    This is done to ensure worker benefit rates keep pace with the economic times, while balancing fairness and financial sustainability of Ontario’s workplace safety and insurance system.

    The annual benefit rate changes for 2018 are effective January 1, 2018 until December 31, 2018. Please see 18-01-05, Table of Rates.

    For 2018, benefit rates that will be increasing are:

    • Independent Living Allowance
    • Non-professional Escort Fee
    • Personal Care Allowance – General Rate
    • Personal Care Allowance – Personal Rate

    As of 2018, the Hearing Devices and Burial Expense rates will no longer be housed within the Table of Rates. For information about these rates, please see Policy 17-07-04, Hearing Devices and for Burial Expenses, see Policy 18-01-02, Benefit Dollar Amounts: Accidents from 1998 , for rates from January 1, 1998, up to and including January 8, 2018, and Policy 18-01-03, Benefit Dollar Amounts: Accidents Before 1998 , for rates prior to January 1, 1998.

    Previous policy

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to January 1, 2018:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    Policy revisions related to offences and penalties and employer accident reporting

    *Effective January 1, 2018*

    On December 10, 2015, Bill 109, Employment and Labour Statute Law Amendment Act, 2015, amended the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA) to prohibit claim suppression, as well as make claim suppression a regulatory offence, and increase the maximum fine for a corporation convicted of an offence under the WSIA from $100,000 to $500,000. These legislative amendments took effect December 10, 2015.

    Subsequently, the General Regulation (O. Reg. 175/98) was also amended to prescribe a new $1000 administrative penalty for employer late reporting in excess of 30 days and administrative penalties for claim suppression. These amendments come into force on January 1, 2018.

    The WSIB is updating five policies to reflect the new $1000 administrative penalty for employer late reporting, the new regulatory offence of claim suppression, and the increase to the maximum corporate fine. The updated policies have been approved with effective dates of January 1, 2018.

    Policy Number Title

    Previous Policy

    Comparison

    15-01-02

    Employers’ Initial Accident Reporting Obligations

    PDF

    PDF

    22-01-05

    Offences and Penalties – General

    PDF

    PDF

    22-01-06

    Offences and Penalties - External Suppliers of Goods and Services

    PDF

    PDF

    22-01-07

    Offences and Penalties - Worker

    PDF

    PDF

    22-01-08

    Offences and Penalties - Employer

    PDF

    PDF

    Minor policy changes related to the Interjurisdictional Agreement (IJA)

    *Effective January 1, 2018*

    Revisions to the Interjurisdictional Agreement on Workers' Compensation (IJA) are effective January 1, 2018. As a result, the following Operational Policy Manual documents required minor revisions, including a revision confirming the inclusion of the pilot car industry in the Alternative Assessment Procedure.

    Previous policies

    Below are the policies that were in place prior to January 1, 2018:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    Revisions to classification units to reflect regulation amendments

    *Effective January 1, 2018*

    The below Employer Classification Manual (ECM) documents have been revised to reflect amendments to O. Reg 175/98. These amendments are in support of the incoming Rate Framework (in 2020) which will introduce a new classification system for employers. Specifically, some business activities (BAs) have been moved out of Class G: Construction into Class I: Other Services. ECM changes reflect these movements.

    The below chart includes the original ECM documents, a track changes version and a clean version of the revised ECM documents. For a detailed description of the changes made to individual ECM documents, please see the attached Explanatory Note (PDF).

    Current ECM Policy Number Title

    Previous ECM Policy

    Comparison

    I-923-07

    Asbestos Abatement

    PDF

    PDF

    I-933-08

    Industrial Maintenance and Repair Contracting Amendment/06

    PDF

    PDF

    G-707-02

    Plumbing, Heating, and Air Conditioning, Installation Amendment/08

    PDF

    PDF

    I-923-02

    Janitorial Operations Amendment/08

    PDF

    PDF

    N/A

    Other Services to Buildings and Dwellings

    PDF

    PDF

    G-748-05

    Painting of Structures

    PDF

    PDF

    G-704-02

    Testing, Inspection, and Related Services Amendment/08

    PDF

    PDF

    I-958-09

    Other Scientific and Technical Services Amendment/08

    PDF

    PDF

    G-732-04

    Other Heavy Construction

    PDF

    PDF

    I-944-24

    Miscellaneous Services

    PDF

    PDF

    N/A

    Above Ground Window Cleaning

    PDF

    PDF

    I-923-06

    Window Cleaning

    PDF

    PDF

    G-704-03

    Office Furniture Installation

    PDF

    PDF

    I-933-06

    Other Repair Services

    PDF

    PDF

    N/A

    Custom Welding Services Amendment/07

    PDF

    PDF

    G-737-03

    Other Trade Work Amendment/06

    PDF

    PDF

    Policy clarification: Pre-existing conditions and permanent impairments

    We are always checking to make sure our policies are applied consistently and fairly. We also monitor WSIAT decisions to look for trends.

    We have looked at the way that we apply Policy 18-05-03, Determining the Degree of Permanent Impairment, which came into effect November 1, 2014, and Policy 18-05-05, Effect of Pre-existing Impairment (PDF) in effect prior to that and decided to reconsider when we reduce non-economic loss (NEL) benefits for pre-existing conditions.

    We are issuing a Policy clarification memo (PDF) outlining that we will no longer reduce NEL benefits for people with an asymptomatic pre-existing condition if it is non-measurable.

    We will also reconsider the approximately 4,500 decisions about NEL benefits that were made between January 2012 and December 2017 where there was a reduction because of an asymptomatic pre-existing condition.

    More information about the NEL remediation work that we are doing can be found on our website.

    Policy revisions related to Access to Employer Information

    *Effective October 10, 2017*

    Operational Policy Manual document 21-01-01, Access to Employer Information required a variety of revisions to more clearly reflect the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act and to support compliance with the Government of Ontario’s Open Data Directive

    Previous policy

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to October 10, 2017:

    Below is an annotated version of the revised policy which explains changes from the prior version:

    Policy changes related to Occupational Aluminum Exposure

    The Occupational Aluminum Exposure policy (Policy 16-01-10 “Occupational Aluminum Exposure, Dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Neurologic Effects”) has been rescinded and removed from the Operational Policy Manual (OPM).

    Read more about the WSIB’s ongoing work regarding Occupational Aluminum Exposure.

    Previous policy

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to June 16, 2017

    Schedule 2 Administration Rate

    *Effective June 1, 2017*

    The WSIB has recently reviewed how the administration rate for Schedule 2 employers is determined. As a result, the WSIB will be providing more than one administration rate reflecting a change in how future liabilities are determined. Operational Policy Manual document 12-01-04, Schedules 1 & 2, has been amended to accommodate this change.

    Previous policy

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to June 1, 2017:

    Comparison document

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    Policy changes related to Cancers in Firefighters and Fire Investigators

    *Effective January 1, 2017*

    On May 1, 2014, the provincial government added six new cancers to the existing Firefighters regulation (Ontario Regulation 253/07, as amended) under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997 (WSIA). 

    Presumptive coverage for skin cancer will take effect January 1, 2017, and Policy 23-02-01,Cancers in Firefighters and Fire Investigators has been updated accordingly. Presumptive coverage for the other five cancers has already taken effect.

    Previous policy

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to January 1, 2017:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    2017 Benefit Rates

    *Effective January 1, 2017*

    Each year a Benefit Rate Review is performed to maintain appropriate rate levels year over year.

    This is done to ensure worker benefit rates keep pace with the economic times, while balancing fairness and financial sustainability of Ontario’s workplace safety and insurance system. 

    The annual benefit rate changes for 2017 are effective January 1, 2017 until December 31, 2017.

    For 2017, benefit rates that will be increasing are:

    • Independent Living Allowance
    • Non-professional Escort Fee
    • Personal Care Allowance – General Rate
    • Personal Care Allowance – Personal Rate
    • Personal Care Allowance – Skilled Rate
    • Minimum Burial Rate
    Benefit Legislative Authority 2016 Rate 2017 Rate
    Independent Living Allowance s.32,33 $3,950.50 annually $4,005.81 annually
    Non-professional escort fee s.32 $90.00/day $91.20/day

    Personal Care Allowance (PCA):

    General Attendant Rate

    Personal Attendant Rate

    Skilled Attendant Rate

    s.32,33

     

    $11.25/hour

    $14.90/hour

    $21.11/hour

     

    $11.40/hour

    $15.09/hour

    $21.38/hour

    Minimum Burial Rate

    s.48(22)

    (1998 legislative minimum was $2,083.32)

    Minimum amount $2,983.48 Minimum amount $3,025.25

    Hearing Devices

    See Policy 17-07-04, Hearing Devices (PDF), for rates up to and including January 8, 2017.

    For the criteria for allowance and payment of hearing devices effective on or after January 9, 2017, see Policy 17-07-04, Hearing Devices(revised).

    Previous policy

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to January 1, 2017:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions:

    Hearing Devices

    *Effective January 9, 2017*

    The Hearing Devices policy has been amended to reflect the relevant changes to support the WSIB revised hearing aid program. 

    The WSIB will now be considering specific hearing aid models for workers with work-related hearing loss entitlement. 

    Once a worker has entitlement to a hearing aid, the WSIB considers specific hearing aids available from two categories; the primary category and the alternate category. The primary category includes a range of hearing aids models that meet the needs of most hearing aid users. For those workers with specific clinical requirements that cannot be met by a hearing aid model from the primary category, the WSIB may consider offering a suitable hearing aid model from the alternate category. 

    The Hearing Devices policy refers readers to a “Hearing Devices” landing page accessible via the WSIB website which outlines the hearing aid models available.

    For the criteria for allowance and payment of hearing devices effective on or after January 9, 2017, see Policy 17-07-04, Hearing Devices.

    Previous policy

    Below is the policy that was in place and effective prior to January 9, 2017:

    Below is a comparison document of the new and prior versions: