Suspension of Benefits – While Incarcerated
Effective date: October 1, 2016
Application: All claims on or after the effective date.
Policy subject: Termination, reduction or suspension of benefits
Purpose:To establish guidelines for the suspension of compensation benefits to an injured worker or other person where an injured worker is incarcerated.
Incarceration means confinement to a correctional facility, penitentiary, prison, reformatory, or youth custody facility.
- The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”) indicates the Board may withhold or suspend payment of compensation to a worker or other person where a worker is incarcerated (Section 100(3)).
- During incarceration, a worker is unavailable for employment. Therefore, earnings loss compensation is not payable as the incarcerated worker’s loss of earnings is unrelated to the effects of the work injury.
- The Act states “if compensation to a worker or other person is withheld or suspended ...the board may pay compensation to the worker’s dependants or other person or to any other persons that the board considers advisable” (Section 100(4)).
- Wage loss benefits will be suspended during the period of incarceration.
- The WCB will issue the worker or other person a notification of suspension upon notice of the worker’s incarceration. The suspension will cover the entire period of incarceration and may be imposed retroactively in cases of late notification.
- Coverage for medical aid related to the work injury, including reimbursement for prescriptions, will continue during the period of suspension.
- The continuation of compensation for a dependant or other person will be limited to situations where the suspension of wage loss compensation would impose grave financial hardship on a dependant or other person. Grave financial hardship includes situations where a dependent spouse was receiving regular financial support from the worker and does not have another source of financial support. Examples include, but are not limited to, situations where a dependent spouse is unemployed.
- Benefits that have been redirected to a dependant or other person will continue during a notice period to provide them with the opportunity to secure alternative financial support. Benefits will continue for a maximum of four weeks or until they qualify for an alternate source of income, whichever comes first.
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