The following policy and procedures were recently revised or introduced. All references to the “Act” are to The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013.
Rate Setting Model (POL 13/2017)
In accordance with the Act, the WCB provides benefits and services to workers who are injured at work. The cost of the workers’ compensation system is funded through premiums paid by employers. The WCB determines the revenue required in the coming year to cover the expected future cost of all injuries occurring in the year as well as its expected administrative costs. Through the rate setting process, industry premium rates are established.
In 2015, an Asset Liability study recommended that the WCB review its premium rate setting model. Therefore, an external consulting actuary reviewed our rate setting model to ensure that we are accurately and fairly collecting the appropriate premiums, so that today’s employers pay for today’s claims. The review provided various recommendations which the Board has approved. Information sessions were also held for employers and associations.
In view of the changes to our rate setting model effective January 1, 2018, the policy has been updated to detail:
- WCB’s obligation to cover all current and future benefit payments and administration costs arising from both reported and unreported claims resulting from work injures that occurred during the year.
- The guiding (and often competing) principles in our rate setting process.
- Elements of our rate model.
Maximum Wage Rates – 2018 (POL & PRO 15/2017)
In accordance with the 2013 Act, effective January 1, 2018, the maximum wage rates are as follows:
- If the injury date is before January 1, 2014, the maximum wage rate is $60,441.
- If the injury date is on or after January 1, 2014, the maximum wage rate is $82,627.
- Any adjustments in the calculation of loss of earnings because of an increase in the maximum wage rates will occur at the worker’s annual benefit.
Maximum Assessable Wage Rate – 2018 (POL 16/2017)
Under Section 137(2) of the Act, the WCB is required to set a maximum assessable wage rate for payroll reporting and assessment purposes. The 2018 maximum assessable wage rate will be $82,627.
Minimum Average Weekly Earnings (Section 70(5)) (PRO 55/2017)
This procedure is an annual update based on the changes to Saskatchewan’s average weekly wage as of June. It establishes the minimum average weekly earnings for workers injured on or after January 1, 1980 and who have been receiving earnings loss compensation for more than 24 months. Effective January 1, 2018, the minimum average weekly earnings will not be less than $668.53.
Minimum Compensation (Section 75) (PRO 56/2017)
This procedure is an annual update based on the changes to Saskatchewan’s average weekly wage as of June. In accordance with Section 75 of our Act, this amount is the minimum compensation an injured worker would receive if they are totally unable to work. Effective January 1, 2018, the minimum compensation will not be less than $501.40 per week, or the actual amount of the worker’s average earnings.
Hearing Services (PRO 57/2017)
WCB negotiates a fee schedule and practice standards for hearing services with the Saskatchewan Hearing Instrument Practitioners Society (SHIPS). Due to the changes in Saskatchewan Ministry of Health and Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region Hearing Aid Plan (HAP), our hearing services procedure and fee schedule have been updated.
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