Document name
Occupational Disease – Cost Relief
Document number
POL 17/2023

Effective date: December 1, 2014

Application: All new injury claims on or after the effective date.

Policy subject: Employer accounts – Claims costs adjustments and cost relief


To establish guidelines for providing cost relief for occupational diseases. 


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Cost relief means the process of removing claims costs from an employer’s claim cost experience (i.e., collective cost pool shared proportionally among all industry rate codes).


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  1. Under Section 20 of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”), the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) will determine:
    1. Whether a condition or death was a result of an injury, and
    2. Whether an injury has arisen out of or in the course of employment.
  2. Section 145 of the Act allows the WCB to create a fund to help meet the demands of any disaster or other circumstances that might unfairly burden employers. The Occupational Disease Reserve serves this purpose.
  3. The Occupational Disease Reserve was created to cover costs that may have arisen from latent occupational diseases where exposure today may result in the establishment of a future claim. In 2014, the benefits liabilities included a provision for latent occupational diseases; therefore, while cost relief is still available, the Occupational Disease Reserve was eliminated. 


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  1. A claim may be eligible for cost relief to cover the high costs of a latent occupational disease that have a cause and effect link to work known at exposure. 
  2. The WCB will remove all or a portion of the costs from an employer’s claim cost experience when: 
    1. The occupational disease results from exposure at work:
      1. With an employer who no longer reports to the WCB.
      2. With two or more employers, where one is reporting to the WCB, or
      3. In an industry under the Act, but there is no confirmation of the employer, or
    2. The occupational disease is partly caused by exposure at work under the Act and the work exposure was combined with:
      1. Exposure at work not covered by the Act.
      2. Exposure at work covered by other jurisdictions, or
      3. Non-work exposure.
  3. There are latent occupational diseases that do not have a cause and effect link to work known at exposure. Rather, the link establishes from future scientific evidence. The WCB will relieve these costs from the employer’s experience.  


  1. The WCB will remove costs from an employer’s claim cost experience after considering recoveries (e.g., third party recoveries through subrogation). 

Experience Rating

  1. When the WCB provides cost relief, an employer may request to have their previous years’ experience rating reviewed (POL 27/2016, Experience Rating Program – Discounts or Surcharges).

Policy references

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Legislative Authority

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The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013

2(1)(r)(iii), 2(1)(aa), 20, 145

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Document History

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(1)    December 31, 2023. Update to clarify that the Occupational Disease Reserve was eliminated in 2014 and provision for latent occupational diseases captured in the benefit liabilities.
(2)    POL and PRO 05/2014, Occupational Disease Reserve (effective December 1, 2014 to December 30, 2023).
(3)    January 1, 2023. Housekeeping change to add cost relief definition.
(4)    December 31, 2014. Actuarial standards require expected cost of future latent occupational diseases in the benefits liability.
(5)    POL and PRO 10/1999, Disaster and Occupational Disease Reserve (effective February 1, 1999 to November 30, 2014).

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