Vocational Rehabilitation – Moving Allowance
Effective date: June 1, 2014
Application: Claimants who relocate on or after the effective date while receiving benefits.
Policy subject: Return to work and vocational rehabilitation
To establish guidelines for the payment of moving allowances
Resident community means limits of the city, town, or village in which the worker’s permanent place of residence is located.
Suitable productive employment means work that:
- The customer can do given their employability assessment and transferable skills analysis.
- The customer can functionally perform, given the medical restrictions imposed by the work injury and any non-compensable medical restrictions existing at the time of the injury.
- Will not endanger the health and safety of the customer or others.
- Contributes meaningfully to the operation of the business.
- Section 111(a) of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”) states that the board may take any measures that it considers necessary or expedient “to assist an injured worker in returning to work.”
- Section 115(j) of the Act states that the board may expend moneys from the fund for any expenses incurred in the administration of this Act and, without restricting the generality of the foregoing, the board may expend moneys for “any other purposes that the board considers necessary to carry out the intent of this Act.”
- A work-related injury can leave a worker with restrictions. This may make it difficult for a worker to find suitable productive employment in their home community. To assist these workers, the WCB may pay for a move to a more suitable community.
- Moving should be approved by the WCB in advance. The WCB may not pay for moving arrangements that were made before approval unless the worker gives good reason for not seeking prior approval.
- Moving may be considered if the commuting distance from home to work is greater than 75 kilometres (km) and if the move will eliminate, or substantially reduce, the earnings loss benefits being paid to the worker. Where the commuting distance is less than 75 km, approval will be based on individual circumstances.
- POL 04/2021, Travel Expenses - General and PRO 01/2019, Travel Expense Rates will be followed to pay expenses, unless otherwise indicated by the WCB.
Moving for Confirmed Employment
- Moving may be approved where the worker secures permanent employment in another community that will eliminate, or substantially reduce, the earnings loss benefits being paid to the worker. The WCB will pay moving costs only where the total cost of the move is not greater than the value of the reduction of earnings loss benefits.
Moving for Quality of Life
- Moving may be approved where the worker’s home community is unable to meet the worker’s needs given the lasting effects of the work-related injury. The WCB will pay moving costs where there is a reasonable expectation that the worker’s quality of life will be improved. The move does not have to eliminate, or substantially reduce, the earnings loss benefits being paid to the worker.
Moving to Seek Employment
- Moving may be approved for the purpose of actively seeking employment. The WCB will pay moving costs only where the move has a significant potential to reduce the amount of earnings loss benefits being paid to the worker.
- The move will be within Saskatchewan unless it can be demonstrated that the opportunities in other jurisdictions are significantly greater than in Saskatchewan.
- When required, for a maximum period of two weeks, the WCB will provide full earnings loss benefits to support a period of settling into a new community prior to beginning or searching for employment.
- The WCB will pay job search benefits for a minimum of eight to a maximum of 12 weeks.
Moving for Retraining
- Moving may be approved for the purpose of retraining. The WCB will pay moving costs only where the:
- Cost of moving is less than the projected cost of any allowances the worker may be entitled to (e.g., kilometre rates, accommodation subsidy, etc.) if the worker were to maintain a primary residence in the home community; or
- Worker permanently moves to the proposed community after the training is completed and there are reasonable opportunities for employment.
- The WCB will pay job search benefits for a minimum of eight to a maximum of 12 weeks following the completion of retraining.
- Where a move for any of the above noted reasons is approved, the worker may be entitled to the following allowances:
- Travel, hotel and meal allowances to a maximum of seven days for the worker (and dependants) to arrange living accommodations;
- Reasonable expenses for the transportation of the worker’s household belongings (estimates from three different moving companies are required where available);
- Travel, hotel and meal allowances enroute to the new location for the worker (and dependants); and
- Incidental moving allowance of $300 (receipts are not required).
- Where a move is approved for confirmed employment, the worker may also be entitled to these additional allowances:
- If storage is required in the course of relocation, the WCB will pay the cost of insured short-term storage for household belongings;
- A maximum of one month rent for a worker’s house or suite lease if the lease cannot be terminated without cost to the worker.
(1) May 1, 2021. Updated resident community to home community and its definition as per POL 04/2021, Travel Expenses – General.
(2) January 1, 2014. References updated in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (Bill 58).
(3) POL 10/2001, Relocation Allowances (effective December 1, 2001 to May 31, 2014)
(4) POL 03/90, Worker's Relocation Allowances (effective January 23, 1990 to November 30, 2001).
(5) Board Directive 12/86, Worker's Relocation Allowances (effective February 28, 1986 to January 22, 1990).
POL 02/2014 Vocational Rehabilitation – Moving Allowance
POL 01/2018 Benefits – Long-Term Earnings Loss
PRO 01/2018 Benefits – Long-Term Earnings Loss
PRO 01/2019 Travel Expense Rates
POL 04/2021 Travel Expenses – General
POL 23/2016 Vocational Rehabilitation – Programs and Services
PRO 23/2016 Vocational Rehabilitation – Programs and Services