Document name
Wage Base – Recurrence
Document number
PRO 18/2017

Effective date: February 1, 2018

Application: All claims.

Policy subject: Benefits for Workers - Initial benefits

Purpose:

Establish guidelines around recurrent wage bases.

BACKGROUND

Policy section content
Section detail

POL 18/2017, Wage Base – Recurrence provides guidelines around when a recurrent wage base will be established on a claim.

PROCEDURE

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Section detail
  1. Operations staff may establish a recurrent wage base on a claim if:
    1. The worker returned to work that eliminated all earnings loss following a work injury and suffered a recurrence of the original injury, and
    2. Staff determine it was for a sufficient time to demonstrate the worker was able to manage the full requirements of their employment. Each claim will be considered on a case by case basis.
  2. The Case Manager will determine if the worker’s current earnings loss is a result of a recurrence of their original compensable injury by considering:
    1. If the worker has ongoing symptoms related to their original compensable injury or if they have received additional or continued medical treatment.
    2. If there is medical confirmation of a link between the worker’s current symptoms or diagnosis and the original injury. This may include obtaining an opinion from a WCB Medical Officer.
    3. If there was a new injury arising out of and in the course of employment that caused the current symptoms (POL 03/2017, Arising Out of and In the Course of Employment).
  3. If the Case Manager determines that the worker’s earnings loss is because of the original compensable injury, but they had not returned to work for a sufficient period of time, a recurrent wage base will not be established and earnings loss benefits will be issued using their initial wage base indexed to date. Operations staff will outline their decision on the worker’s claim.

Recurrent Wage Base

  1. If Operations staff determine the worker’s current earning loss is because of a recurrence of their original compensable injury they will compare the worker’s current earnings and their initial wage base indexed to date.
  2. Operations staff follow guidelines around establishing an initial wage base to determine the worker’s average weekly earnings at the time of recurrence (POL 06/2016, Establishing Initial Wage Base).
  3. Operations staff will issue earnings loss benefits using a recurrent wage base if the worker’s current average weekly earnings are higher than their initial wage base indexed to date. Otherwise, earnings loss benefits will be issued using the worker’s initial wage base indexed to date.
  4. Operations staff will confirm and use the worker’s work week at the time of recurrence (i.e., their work schedule) to issue earnings loss benefits, regardless of if a recurrent wage base or the initial wage base is used.
  5. If a worker is in casual or seasonal employment:
    1. At the time of the initial injury:
      1. Operations staff will compare their earnings at the time of the recurrence to the last wage base established on the claim following the original commencement of earnings loss indexed to date.
    2. At the time of a recurrence:
      1. Operations staff will establish a recurrent wage base as per POL 35/2010, Compensation Rate – Casual and Seasonal Employment.
  6. Operations staff review a worker’s recurrent wage base annually on the anniversary of the original commencement of earnings loss date.
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