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 2020

The annual Policy Agenda outlines the WSIB’s policy priorities for the coming year. As part of the WSIB’s commitment to open communication and service excellence, the Policy Agenda communicates the priorities of the Policy area for the coming year, and includes items that may or may not involve stakeholder consultation.

A key area of activity for the WSIB’s policy area in 2020 will be to provide advice and support in relation to transformational projects under the WSIB’s 2019-2021 Strategic Plan. Work will also continue on a number of ongoing projects from prior Agendas, such as supporting the implementation of Rate Framework Modernization and the Return-To-Work policy suite review. As a result, there are plans for just two new policy items in 2020: the WSIB’s first review of the scientific and clinical evidence on medical cannabis, and the scheduled review of Operational Policy Manual document 18-01-14, Annual Indexing.

In addition to the above, the WSIB will maintain policy capacity to support any changes resulting from the Ontario Government’s Operational Review of the WSIB, and to address unanticipated policy items that may arise throughout the year.

See our 2020 Policy Agenda (PDF).

See our past policy agendas.

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.

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14-01-05, Special Ancillary Rules (PDF) rescinded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14-01-02, Single Classification (PDF) rescinded
14-01-03, Segregated Payrolls (PDF) rescinded
14-01-04, Aggregated Payroll (PDF) rescinded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 coming soon

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)

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

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: