Insights

WCB Alberta 2022 Annual Review: The Good, The Bad and The Same

Posted in: Claims Costs,WCB Premium Reduction | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on February 3, 2022

Every year, the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) of Alberta reviews and updates various costs, expenses, allowances, and thresholds to keep in line with the current economic landscape. Changes that are approved affect numerous WCB policies and can impact payments to workers and claim costs for employers.  Managing claim costs has always been and will continue to be challenging for employers, more so when they have no control over changes being made. However, this year comes with a mixed bag of offerings for Alberta employers: The Good: On a positive note, the WCB announced an increase of the cost threshold used to determine when a No Time Loss (NTL) claim will be used in the experience rating calculations that establish WCB premiums. Although cost threshold increases do not usually benefit employers, an increase to the NTL claims cost threshold does. Beginning January 1, 2022, the No Time Loss (NTL) claim threshold […]

Recent WCB Alberta Policy Updates – Is There Good News for Alberta Employers?

Posted in: Claims Costs,News & Announcements | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on January 11, 2022

The Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) of Alberta recently announced a number of policy updates that are now in effect. While policy updates are intended to address issues and ensure that the WCB is staying current with the needs of injured workers yet remain fair to employers, the changes implemented often require closer examination to determine their impact. With that in mind, let’s take a closer look at what has changed and how it might affect employers and their Employer Premium Rate Statements. Reimbursement of housekeeping expenses prior to December 1, 2013 – Policy 04-10, Part II, Application 3: On December 1, 2013, the WCB Alberta introduced a housekeeping allowance policy to cover expenses incurred by workers with permanent serious compensable disabilities that prevented them from performing the tasks themselves. Prior to December 1, 2013, these costs would have been paid by injured workers themselves. The policy revision is an acknowledgment […]

10+ Important Things to Check on Your 2022 WCB Premium Rate Statement

Posted in: Claims Costs,WCB Premium Reduction | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on December 13, 2021

If you haven’t seen it already, your 2022 Premium Rate Statement has been issued and is available through WCB Alberta online access. It has been and continues to be a time of great uncertainty as we navigate our way through COVID-19, the economic impact of which will be felt for years to come. In 2020 and 2021, many Workers’ Compensation Boards (WCB) across Canada offered WCB premium relief measures to address the financial difficulties facing employers. Although the support was a welcome reprieve, WCB’s nationwide ended up absorbing premium shortfalls in order to maintain rate stability for employers and this is reflected in the premium rate statements currently being issued. Your Premium Rate Statement not only advises you of the WCB Premium rate you have been assessed for the coming year but provides you with the information used to calculate your rate. According to current information, average WCB 2022 premium […]

Mitigating Claims Costs: Underused WCB Policies

Posted in: Claims Costs | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on October 20, 2021

As an Alberta employer, did you know that under certain circumstances you can control Workers’ Compensation (WCB) costs by paying your injured worker directly for wage loss and other expenses? According to WCB Policy 04-02, Part II, when an injured worker is directed by the WCB or the Appeals Commission (AC) to attend medical appointments, rehabilitation treatments, and/or WCB sponsored Return To Work (RTW) programs, the WCB may pay the worker allowances to cover any wage loss, travel expenses or subsistence costs. It is important to understand that any payments made by the WCB, become part of the total costs associated with a claim.  However, under the above circumstances, if the employer pays the worker for lost wages to attend WCB-directed appointments and directly reimburses their other expenses as identified in the above policy, the costs should not become part of the claim.  Why is this important? WCB claim costs […]

Asbestos: The Number One Cause of Occupational Fatalities in Canada

Posted in: Claims Costs | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on August 27, 2021

According to the most recent incidence statistics, asbestos exposure continues to be the number one cause of occupational deaths in Canada. Since 1996, the asbestos-related disease has accounted for a third of all workplace fatalities across the country.  Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral with many diverse and desirable applications including fire-retardant coatings, concrete, bricks, fireplace cement, heat/, fire and acid-resistant gaskets, pipe insulation, ceiling insulation, fireproof drywall, flooring, roofing, lawn furniture, automobile parts, and drywall joint compound. It is made up of microscopic fibers that can be released into the atmosphere and if those fibers are inhaled it can lead to various serious and incurable lung conditions. As a result, it is now a major health and safety hazard.  The health dangers of asbestos exposure were first documented in 1899 and concerns were continually raised into the early 1900’s. However, despite the known issues and concerns, asbestos was […]

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