The WCB Alberta is Changing

Posted in: WCB Law | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on January 30, 2018

In 2017, for the first time in more than 15 years, the WCB Alberta underwent a comprehensive review. The results of the review were compiled and introduced to the Alberta legislature as Bill 30: An Act to Protect the Health and Well-being of Working Albertans which was passed into law in late December 2017. The recommendations made by the review panel were to ensure a Workers’ Compensation system that is fair and provides greater benefits to support injured workers. But at what cost to employers? The amendments to the Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA) will be realized in the form of policy changes mostly affecting workers and employers. A number of policy changes came into effect January 2, 2018 and the rest will follow throughout 2018; some requiring additional input from concerned stakeholders. So, just what has changed and what does it mean to Alberta workers and employers? Let’s start with […]

Countdown to Legal Cannabis in Canada Continues

Posted in: WCB Law | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on November 7, 2017

On July 1, 2018, in a little over 8 months, the Canadian government is going to legalize cannabis. Whether you agree with the legalization of marijuana or not, the reality can not be ignored, nor can the impact this may have on the workplace.  What Governments are Doing: The proposed Cannabis Act requires all Canadian provinces and territories to develop their own regulatory system to support the pending legislation. Last month the Alberta Cannabis Framework was unveiled by the provincial government, setting the stage for the legal and responsible use of marijuana by Albertans. The draft addressed issues like the minimum age limit, buying, selling, growing, possessing, consuming and advertising of cannabis, as well as driving impairment and workplace impairment, which continues to be a work in progress. Before July 2018, the Alberta government says it will review occupational health and safety regulations and work with employers, labour groups and […]

What is a Concurrent Condition and How Does it Affect Temporary Disability Benefits?

Posted in: Claims Costs,WCB Law | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on August 18, 2017

On June 6, 2017, the WCB Alberta announced changes to policies regarding the application of cost relief for concurrent conditions, directly affecting Policy 04-02, Part II, Application 1, paragraph 11 and Policy 05-02, Part II, Application 1. The proposed changes were put forward on December 8, 2016 and the WCB welcomed comments and input until March 9, 2017. More details on the possible implications of the proposed changes can be found on our blog. Now that the policy changes have been implemented, what exactly has changed, and how does it affect employers? Let’s take a closer look: By WCB definition, a concurrent condition refers to a non-compensable condition that exists at the same time as a compensable disability. The onset or identification of a concurrent condition can occur either before or after a compensable accident and may or may not have an impact on a worker’s recovery from a compensable […]

WCB Policy Change Proposal: Concurrent Conditions

Posted in: WCB Law,Workplace | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on February 27, 2017

On December 8, 2016, the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) of Alberta announced proposed changes to cost relief for concurrent conditions, which would directly affect Policy 04-02, Part II, Application 1, paragraph 11 and Policy 05-02, Part II, Application 1. The WCB further advised that drafts of the policy would be open for comment until March 9, 2017. As with any organization, the WCB will periodically review policy to address issues of concern that have been identified, or make improvements to the current operating system. All policy changes are reviewed and approved by the WCB Board of Directors, which is composed of members representing the interests of workers, employers and public stakeholder groups. The WCB Board of Directors not only determines policy and ensures that it is consistent with workers’ compensation legislation, but is responsible for revisions or modifications to existing policies. They are entrusted to take into consideration the impact […]

WCB Accident Fund Surplus: Have Your Say

Posted in: Claims Costs,WCB Law,WCB Premium Reduction,Worker's Compensation Board | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on December 20, 2016

As part of the government directed WCB Review currently underway in Alberta, the Review Panel is taking a closer look at WCB-Alberta’s Accident Fund and how it is managed. This has been a topic of discussion in recent workshops and the Panel is very keen on getting as much input as possible from stakeholders. WCB Accident Fund The Accident Fund is established from Employer Premiums. The WCB is funded through premiums assessed to employers. There are no tax dollars or employee payroll deductions involved in the workers’ compensation system. Each year the WCB establishes the premiums that employers will pay. These rates are set so that the total premiums collected in the current year will pay for all estimated present and future costs of claims that occur during that year. Based on the overall amount of premiums that need to be collected, the WCB determines premium rates for each industry […]