Insights

COVID-19 and WCB Claims

Posted in: Claims Costs,Worker's Compensation Board,Workplace | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on April 28, 2020

As COVID-19 continues to hold us in its grasp and businesses scramble to figure out how to survive the long term impact of the pandemic, new workers’ compensation issues are emerging. While essential businesses and services remain open, there will undoubtedly be work-related incidents and accidents and for the most part, those workers’ compensation claims will be processed as they always have been. However, the novel coronavirus is redefining guidelines as they relate to acceptable occupational disease claims, at least for now. Prior to this pandemic, acceptable Workers’ Compensation (WCB) claims were primarily limited to front line health care or emergency response workers who contracted a communicable disease, with few exceptions being made in individual circumstances. When the provincial and federal governments mandated the closure of non-essential businesses and ordered everyone to stay at home the goal was to stop the spread of the virus and control the pandemic. Workers […]

How Does the WCB Use Benefit of Doubt in Adjudicating Claims?

Posted in: Worker's Compensation Board | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on November 18, 2019

Although the large majority of Workers’ Compensation (WCB) claims are straightforward and easily adjudicated there are situations that are more contentious such as: unwitnessed accidents,  injuries reported long after they occurred,  employers contesting the validity of a claim, or non-compensable factors impacting a worker’s recovery Adjudication of these claims becomes problematic for the WCB as they try to make decisions based on little or no evidence in some instances and a plethora of conflicting information in others. In an attempt to address this, the WCB established Policy 01-03, Part I, Benefit of Doubt, which reads, in part:  A worker is not required to provide proof beyond any reasonable doubt in support of a claim for compensation. Adjudication is determined on the balance of probabilities, based on all the facts. If, however, there is doubt on any issue because the evidence is approximately equal in supporting one or more decisions, WCB […]

WCB Alberta Employer Policy Review: Support Services

Posted in: News & Announcements,Worker's Compensation Board | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on October 31, 2019

On October 1st, 2019, the Workers’ Compensation Board of Alberta (WCB) announced that it was entering Phase 2 of a high-level review of Employer accounts and premium policies and was looking for feedback, ideas and suggestions until December 2, 2019. Of particular interest to some Alberta employers are changes to Policy 07-01, Part II, Application 1, regarding businesses providing support services to an industry and how that business is classified. The WCB is proposing the following addition to the current policy: How does WCB classify a business providing support services to an industry?  Businesses providing coordination, marketing, management or administration of a specific service which generates revenue from another business, will be classified in the industry it supports. For example, a fast food franchisor that provides only administration services will be classified in the restaurant industry. While this may seem to make sense at first glance, the reality is that […]

Late Reporting: Employer Impact

Posted in: Worker's Compensation Board | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on October 22, 2019

In a perfect world, work-related accidents should never happen. Unfortunately, we don’t live in a perfect world and workers get injured on the job every day.  How work-related injuries are handled can have a significant impact not only on the injured worker but on employers as well. It is widely accepted that the information obtained closest to any incident is likely the most accurate and work-related accidents are no exception. Prompt accident reporting by workers can result in better medical treatment, faster recovery times and lower claims costs. Delays can impede the claim’s process and are problematic for employers by limiting their ability to: validate the accident occurred detail the chain of events confirm there were no intervening factors or events between the date of accident (DOA) and the date of reporting (DOR) that contributed to the severity of the injury investigate the circumstances surrounding a work-related accident from a […]

When Should an Employer Report an Accident to the WCB?

Posted in: Worker's Compensation Board | Posted by Rebecca Ingram on October 1, 2019

As much as we try to avoid them, the reality is that accidents happen at work. Some are minor, some result in medical treatment, and unfortunately some result in serious injury or death. Most work-related accidents are obvious and reporting them to the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) makes sense. Yet some accidents or incidents seem so inconsequential that it does not make sense to spend the time, effort and expense to report them. So, in these situations, how does an employer decide when to report an accident to the WCB and when not to? Essentially there are 3 criteria an employer needs to consider when determining if a minor work injury needs to be reported to the WCB: First Aid versus Medical Aid  Job duty modification Damage to personal medical aids and appliances First Aid vs Medical Aid In Alberta, WCB Policy 01-05, Part 1, Reporting and Recording Accidents addresses […]

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