Document name
Expenses – Travel & Sustenance – General
Document number
PRO 04/2021

Effective date: May 1, 2021

Application: All new and existing claims on and after the effective date.

Policy subject: Allowance and expenses

Purpose:

To explain the process used to determine travel expense entitlements.

BACKGROUND

Policy section content
Section detail
  1. POL 04/2021, Travel Expenses – General, establishes guidelines for determining travel and expense entitlements.
  2. Travel expenses paid by the WCB prior to the effective date of POL 04/2021, Travel Expenses – General, will not be retroactively adjusted to remove the normal work expense deductions.

PROCEDURE

Policy section content
Section detail
  1. The WCB will pay for or reimburse the costs of the worker’s immediate transportation to a medical facility or the worker’s home at the time of the work-related injury.

Authorizing Travel Arrangements

  1. How do WCB staff determine the worker’s eligibility for travel entitlements when travelling to medical treatments, vocational rehabilitation programs, and appeal meetings or hearings?
    1. Typically, the worker will either discuss travel arrangements with Operations or Appeals staff or submit a Worker Expense Statement (W6) prior to travel.
    2. The Claims Entitlement Specialist (CES), Case Management Support (CMS), Case Manager (CM), Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists (VRS), Appeals Department staff or the Assistant to the Board will approve prepaid travel entitlements or travel reimbursements.
    3. Workers will be advised of the travel expenses that will be covered. If the approved travel expenses are less than the amount claimed by the worker, the WCB will provide a written explanation to the worker.

Travel and Sustenance Expenses

  1. What transportation expenses are covered for travel outside the worker’s home community?
    1. If the worker uses a private vehicle to travel outside their home community:
      1. The distance travelled will be calculated to and from the worker’s home community and the city, town, or village in which the medical facility or training centre is located, and
      2. Travel entitlement will be based on rates noted in PRO 01/2019, Travel Expense Rates.
    2. If a worker travels outside their home community by public transportation, the WCB will cover the actual cost of fare, including transportation by taxi to and from the transportation terminal (e.g., airport, bus terminal, etc.) and medical facility, training centre or worker’s home.
    3. Parking costs will be covered, provided that a copy of the receipt(s) is submitted to WCB.
  2. What transportation expenses may be covered for travel within a worker’s home community?
    1. The use of specialized transportation (e.g., taxi) when travelling to medical treatment or programs within the home community will only be covered if required due to medical necessity or exceptional circumstances, such as, but are not limited to, the following:
      1. Public transit stops not easily accessible from the worker’s home or medical facility,
      2. Extreme weather conditions, or
      3. Worker’s inability to drive or use public transit due to the injury.

Operations staff will approve specialized transportation costs on a case-by-case basis.

  1. What meal expenses are covered for travel outside the home community?
    1. If the worker is required to travel outside their home community to a medical treatment and the worker is away from home over normal meal times, meal expenses will be covered in accordance with PRO 01/2019, Travel Expense Rates.
  2. What accommodation expenses are covered for travel outside the home community?
    1. The WCB considers travel up to a 75 km radius from the workers’ home community to the medical facility and training centre as a reasonable commute. Accommodation costs may be covered if travel exceeds the reasonable commuting distance.
    2. The WCB may cover accommodation costs for travel within the 75 km radius if:
      1. The duration of the travel, time of the medical appointment or vocational training, and the worker’s individual circumstances make it unreasonable to travel the same day, or
      2. The commuting distance makes it unreasonable for the worker to commute back and forth from the home community to the medical facility or training centre for at least two consecutive days.
    3. If accommodation is required by the worker:
      1. The CMS or CES will arrange for hotel stay directly billed to the WCB and will notify the worker of the arrangement, or
      2. The worker will arrange for their own accommodation and they will be reimbursed for their stay at a hotel or a private home at rates noted in PRO 01/2019, Travel Expense Rates.
  3. If a worker is requesting reimbursement for actual costs, do they need to submit the receipt(s)?
    1. With the exception of kilometers travelled, meals and private lodging, workers will be required to submit a copy of the receipt(s) for reimbursement of actual costs to be considered.
    2. Original receipts must be retained for 12 months from submission date, as they may be requested by the WCB for audit purposes.

Out of Province

  1. What if the treatment required by the injury is not available in Saskatchewan?
    1. If the necessary treatment, specialist appointment, diagnostics (e.g., MRI and CT scans), surgery, or vocational rehabilitation is not available in Saskatchewan, the CES, CMS, CM or VRS may authorize travel outside the province.
  2. What travel costs are covered?
    1. If the worker uses public transportation, the WCB will cover:
      1. The actual cost of fare (typically airfare), and
      2. The actual cost of taxi or specialized transportation to and from airports and/or hotels, and medical facilities.
    2. If the worker is unable to travel by air due to their medical condition, the WCB will cover the costs for the next most practical means of transportation (e.g., kilometres for private vehicle use).
    3. Parking costs will be covered, provided that a copy of the receipt is submitted to WCB.
  3. What meal costs are covered?
    1. Out of province meal rates are paid in accordance with PRO 01/2019, Travel Expense Rates.
  4. What accommodation costs are covered?
    1. If accommodation is required while the worker is out-of-province:
      1. Operations staff will arrange for a hotel stay directly billed to the WCB and will notify the worker of the arrangement, or
      2. The worker will arrange for their own accommodation and they will be reimbursed for their stay at a hotel supported by a copy of the receipt(s) or a private home at rates noted in PRO 01/2019, Travel Expense Rates.

Remote or Temporary Work Locations

  1. Does WCB cover travel expenses to attend medical appointments for workers who live in remote work locations or out of province workers who temporarily reside in Saskatchewan for employment?
    1. Travel expenses are covered for workers who live in remote or temporary work locations when travelling to attend medical appointments:
      1. To and from the temporary place of residence and the nearest medical facility located in a different community, or
      2. To and from the worker’s home community and the nearest medical facility, if the worker returns home to recuperate and the nearest medical facility is outside the worker’s home community.
    2. When declared able to return to work, the worker’s return travel to the remote or temporary work location will not be covered by the WCB.

Change of Home Community

  1. What if the worker changes their place of residence while receiving treatment or benefits for a work-related injury?
    1. If the worker moves for personal reasons other than for employment:
      1. The travel entitlement will remain the same if the travel distance to and from the worker’s new home community and the medical facility or training centre is greater, or
      2. The travel entitlement will be reduced accordingly if the travel distance to and from the worker’s new home community and the medical facility or training centre is less.
    2. If the worker moves for the purpose of new employment while undergoing treatment, travel entitlement will be based on travel from their new home community to the medical facility.
  2. What if the worker moves residence outside Saskatchewan for personal reasons other than for employment?
    1. The WCB may request the worker to return to Saskatchewan to attend treatment, and
    2. Additional travel expenses to return to Saskatchewan for treatment may be covered by the Board based on the worker’s individual circumstances.
  3. How is travel entitlement determined if the worker returns to employment following a work‑related injury, changes their home community and then suffers a recurrence of the work injury?
    1. If the worker is required to travel for medical treatment and/or programs, the worker’s new home community will be considered when determining the travel entitlement.

Vocational Rehabilitation

  1. Are travel expenses covered for workers who travel outside their home community to attend vocational rehabilitation programs?
    1. The VRS will approve reasonable travel costs, including:
      1. Transportation costs for:
        1. Kilometres for private vehicle use, or
        2. The actual cost of public transportation;
        3. Meals, accommodation and parking, at the discretion of the WCB based on the worker’s individual circumstances.
  2. If the worker relocates for the purpose of vocational rehabilitation, what expenses are covered?
    1. The VRS may authorize the worker to relocate for vocational rehabilitation while still maintaining a primary residence in their home community in accordance with POL 02/2014, Vocational Rehabilitation – Moving Allowance. Relocation may be considered:
      1. If the commuting distance from the home community is greater than the 75 km radius  and it is cost effective to relocate, or
      2. If the commuting distance is less than 75 km radius and the expected duration of the program, the worker’s physical restrictions and individual circumstances requires the worker to relocate.
    2. If the worker relocates for vocational rehabilitation while still maintaining a primary residence in their home community, they will be covered for:
      1. A monthly accommodation allowance up to the maximum amount noted in PRO 15/2020, Consumer Price Index (CPI) – Annual Increase, and
      2. One trip per month to and from the training facility and the worker’s home community in accordance with PRO 01/2019, Travel Expense Rates, or the actual cost of public transportation.
    3. If the worker chooses to commute rather than relocate, actual expenses will be covered up to the maximum monthly accommodation allowance noted in PRO 15/2020, Consumer Price Index (CPI) – Annual Increase.

Attendants

  1. What if a worker requires assistance from an attendant when travelling to medical treatment?
    1. The injured worker or the treating physician will notify Operations staff when an attendant is medically required. The WCB may require written confirmation of the need for assistance from their primary care provider. Travel arrangements must be discussed with and approved by the CES, CMS, CM or VRS.
    2. The WCB will cover travel, meals and accommodation costs for the attendant.
    3. Travel entitlement is normally based on the worker’s home community. However, if the worker and the attendant live in different home communities, the WCB will cover travel expenses from the attendant’s home community.
    4. If the attendant misses time from work, an Attendant Time Loss (ATL) form must be completed by the attendant and verified by the employer. The attendant will be covered for earnings loss based on the greater of:
      1. Actual earnings loss (subject to the maximum wage rate), or
      2. Current provincial minimum wage (based on a forty-hour work week).

Donors

  1. Does the WCB cover travel expenses when a donor is required for the work injury?
    1. If required by the injury, the CES, CMS, or CM will approve reasonable expenses for the donor’s travel, meals and accommodation.
    2. If the donor misses time from work, earnings loss will be covered for up to four weeks based on the greater of:
      1. Actual earnings loss (subject to the maximum wage rate), or
      2. Current provincial minimum wage (based on a forty-hour work week).
    3. If medical evidence shows that the donor will be disabled for more than four weeks, the WCB may extend the time period for which compensation is payable.

Attachments

Attachments

Policy references

Policy reference content

Section heading

Legislative Authority

Section detail

The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013

Sections 19(1)(a), 37, 103(1)(d), 115

Section heading

Document History

Section detail

(1)    POL and PRO 39/2010, Expenses – Travel and Sustenance – General (effective February 3, 2012 to April 30, 2021).
(2)    01 January 2014. References updated in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (Bill 58).
(3)    POL and PRO 12/2008, Expenses – Travel and Sustenance – General (effective September 1, 2008 to February 2, 2012).
(4)    POL and PRO 07/2003, Expenses – Travel and Sustenance – General (effective January 1, 2003 to August 31, 2010).
(5)    POL 13/93, Expenses – Travel and Sustenance for Medical Care (effective March 1, 1993 to December 31, 2002) and POL 12/96, Expenses – Travel and Sustenance – Augmented Therapy (effective April 1, 1996 to December 31, 2002).
 

Section heading

Complements

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