Surplus rebate for businesses

Eligible businesses will receive surplus rebates in April 2022, as our insurance fund now has a surplus greater than our necessary reserve due to strong operational, financial and investment management.

Our surplus allows for up to $1.5 billion in total to be rebated to eligible Schedule 1 businesses, recognizing the important role Ontario businesses play in funding our no-fault work-related injury and illness insurance system, while protecting our ability to help people who have suffered an injury or illness with a safe, timely and lasting recovery and return to work today and into the future.

We know that many Ontario businesses suffered greatly with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rebating surplus funds can help assist business’ post-pandemic recovery as well as support investments in health and safety, such as joining the Health and Safety Excellence program.

Eligibility criteria (updated April 25, 2022)

Businesses must meet all the following eligibility requirements to receive a rebate of surplus funds in April 2022:

  • have an active account as of January 31, 2022
  • had premium obligations in either 2019 or 2020
  • have not been convicted of a Workplace Safety and Insurance Act or an Occupational Health and Safety Act offence in a proceeding under Part III of the Provincial Offences Act, in 2021 or in 2022 up to and including the date the WSIB issues rebates
  • have not been convicted in more than one such proceeding between 2017 and 2022 up to and including the date the WSIB issues rebates

  • must not be affiliated through common ownership with a business that is ineligible to receive a surplus rebate based on the convictions criteria outlined and has a traumatic workplace fatality attributed to them between 2017 and 2022 up to and including the date the WSIB issues surplus rebates

  • must not be a Temporary Employment Agency determined by the WSIB to be the employer of a person who suffered a workplace fatality working for a business that is ineligible to receive a rebate based on the convictions and traumatic workplace fatality criteria outlined 

In recognition of the significant impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on many businesses, a business’s rebate will be approximately 34 per cent of their premiums paid in 2019 or 2020, whichever is higher.   

Eligible businesses will have their credit amount displayed on their statement of account and can use surplus rebates to pay future premiums. No action is required to use your rebate to pay future premiums, the credit amount will automatically be applied against any balance on your account, including premiums owed.

Businesses up to date with their premium payment and reporting can also ask to receive a cheque for any credits on their account, to invest in health and safety improvements or fund other needed investments. 

Request rebate cheque

Frequently asked questions

Why does the WSIB have a surplus?

Our improved financial and investment strategy along with positive operational results has led to a surplus in our insurance fund. A surplus above and beyond our needed reserve allows a rebate to businesses this year.

How will the WSIB use the surplus?

A surplus above and beyond our needed reserve allows a rebate to businesses this year. This recognizes the important role Ontario businesses play in funding our no-fault work-related injury and illness insurance system, while protecting coverage for people with work-related injury or illness.

Strong operational, financial and investment management means we are protecting our ability to help people who have suffered an injury or illness with a safe, timely and lasting recovery and return to work, make further strategic investments, and also maintain a healthy reserve to ensure long-term premium rate stability.

How/when will a rebate of surplus funds be distributed?

A rebate of surplus funds credit will be applied to eligible business’ accounts in April 2022. Credits will be displayed on their statement of account.

Why are businesses receiving a surplus rebate rather than a further premium rate reduction?

Premiums paid by Ontario businesses go toward helping people who have experienced a workplace injury or illness and the costs associated with their claims, while the surplus in our insurance fund is based on our improved financial and investment strategy along with positive operational results.

Our surplus rebate recognizes the important role Ontario businesses play in funding our no-fault work-related injury and illness insurance system, while protecting coverage for people with work-related injury or illness.

Additionally, the average premium rate for businesses has been reduced in five of the last six years including a decrease by 5.1 per cent in 2022. The average premium rate is the lowest it has been in over 20 years.

Who is eligible to receive the rebate of surplus funds?

Schedule 1 businesses must meet all the following eligibility requirements to receive a rebate of surplus funds in April 2022:

  • have an active account as of January 31, 2022
  • had premium obligations in either 2019 or 2020
  • have not been convicted of a Workplace Safety and Insurance Act or an Occupational Health and Safety Act offence in a proceeding under Part III of the Provincial Offences Act, in 2021 or in 2022 up to and including the date the WSIB issues rebates 
  • have not been convicted in more than one such proceeding between 2017 and 2022 up to and including the date the WSIB issues rebates
  • must not be affiliated through common ownership with a business that is ineligible to receive a surplus rebate based on the convictions criteria outlined and has a traumatic workplace fatality attributed to them between 2017 and 2022 up to and including the date the WSIB issues surplus rebates
  • must not be a Temporary Employment Agency determined by the WSIB to be the employer of a person who suffered a workplace fatality working for a business that is ineligible to receive a rebate based on the convictions and traumatic workplace fatality criteria outlined

Why has criteria related to business affiliation been added to the eligibility requirements to receive a surplus rebate? 

Our surplus rebate is intended to help support safe Ontario businesses as they recover from the pandemic. We have added eligibility criteria related to business affiliation and Temporary Employment Agencies to reflect the various ways businesses are structured and register with us to ensure fairness in how surplus rebates are applied.

How will I know if my business will be getting a rebate and how much it will be?

A rebate of surplus funds credit will be applied to eligible business’ accounts in April 2022. Credits will be displayed on their statement of account.

Is there a maximum dollar amount a business’s surplus rebate will be capped at? 

There is no cap on a business’s surplus rebate. All businesses that meet the eligibility requirements will receive a rebate that is approximately 34 per cent of their premiums paid in 2019 or 2020, whichever is higher.
 

What is the exact percentage used to calculate my rebate amount if my business meets all eligibility criteria?

Your rebate will be 34.02 per cent of your premiums paid in 2019 or 2020, whichever is higher, if your business meets all eligibility criteria.   
 

I paid premiums in 2020 but my business closed prior to January 1, 2022 – am I entitled to a rebate of surplus funds?

Businesses who had premium payment obligations in 2019 or 2020 but whose businesses closed prior to January 1, 2022 are not eligible to receive a surplus rebate. 

Why are only Schedule 1 businesses eligible to receive a rebate of surplus funds?

Our surplus is the result of return on investments in our insurance fund that Schedule 1 businesses prospectively contribute to. Schedule 2 businesses do not contribute to this fund and are individually responsible for the full cost of the accident claims filed by people who are injured or become ill in their workplace.

Our rebate of surplus funds above and beyond our needed reserve recognizes the important role Schedule 1 businesses play in funding our collective liability work-related injury and illness insurance system, while protecting our ability to help people who have suffered an injury or illness with a safe, timely and lasting recovery and return to work today and into the future.

Can I have a cheque instead of a credit?

A rebate of surplus funds credit will be applied to eligible business’ accounts in April 2022. Your credit amount will be displayed on your statement of account.

Businesses can use surplus rebates to pay future premiums, invest in health and safety improvements and support, such as joining the Health and Safety Excellence program or fund other needed investments.   

Businesses up to date with their premium payment and reporting can also request a cheque online to receive payment for any credits on their account. If your business’s mailing address has recently changed, you can update your address online now to ensure we have your most up to date contact information.

Will my surplus rebate credit be considered taxable revenue by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)?

Please contact the CRA to confirm how to report your surplus rebate credit amount for tax purposes. 

Will benefits to people with work-related injury or illness be impacted as a result of the surplus?

Surplus distribution will not impact benefits paid to people with work-related injury or illness.

Why are only insurable earnings from 2019 and 2020 being considered when calculating my rebate amount? 

We understand many businesses have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and their insurable earnings in 2020 and 2021 may not reflect their pre-pandemic business activities. By using insurable earnings from 2019 and 2020, we are ensuring all businesses that meet the eligibility requirements receive a surplus rebate that reflects their contributions to the insurance fund.

Will surplus rebates only be provided in 2022 or will they be available in future years as well?

We will continue to evaluate our financial and investment results to determine if we are in a position to rebate surplus funds above our needed reserve in future years.

Will this eligibility be the same for any future surplus distribution?

If we are in a position to provide a rebate of surplus funds in the future we will determine eligibility based on our legislative and regulatory requirements and authority at that time.

My business was convicted of a Workplace Safety and Insurance Act or Occupational Health and Safety Act offence in the past five years. Who can I contact to verify my eligibility to receive a surplus rebate? 

Please contact our Stakeholder Compliance Services team at confirmationteam@wsib.on.ca if you have questions regarding convictions under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act or Occupational Health and Safety Act.