Average Earnings

 

The following information applies only to workers injured on or after October 1, 1999.  If you were injured before this date and disagree with the amount of your average earnings as determined by the WSIB, you should speak to a qualified representative. 

 

What are average earnings? 

The amount of benefits paid to you by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) depends on how much money you were making at the time of your injury.  The amount you were making when you were injured is called your average earnings. The WSIB calculates average earnings in two ways:  1) short-term average earnings, and 2) long-term average earnings. 

 

What are short-term average earnings? 

Your short-term average earnings are what you were being paid at the time of your injury.  If, however, your earnings were different from day to day (for example, you were paid only commission), then the WSIB will average the total earnings in the four weeks prior to your injury to calculate your short-term average earnings.  The WSIB uses your short-term average earnings to calculate your loss of earnings (LOE) benefits for the first twelve weeks.  

 

What are long-term average earnings? 

Your benefits after the 12th week of your claim are based on your long-term average earnings.   If you were working at a regular permanent job at the time of your injury, your long-term average earnings will usually be the same as your short-term average earnings.  Either you or your employer can ask the WSIB to recalculate your average earnings after 12 weeks if you or they believe continuing your benefits at the current level would be unfair.  An example of when the WSIB might agree to recalculate your average earnings might be if you had overtime or bonus earnings that changed from week to week, in which case these earnings would not have been included in your short-term average earnings. 

If your employment was non‑permanent (meaning you were hired only for a certain amount of time) or irregular (for example, seasonal work, workers paid only on commission, or temporary agency workers), then the WSIB will always recalculate your average earnings after 12 weeks. 

If you were working at a job that was both regular (52 weeks a year without any pattern of lay-offs) and permanent (no set date for the job to end) when you were injured, your long-term average earnings will be the average of your weekly earnings over the 12 months before your injury.  If you were working at a non-permanent or irregular job when you were injured, your long-term average earnings will usually be based on your earnings over the two years before your injury. 

 

How do my average earnings affect the amount of my benefits? 

After calculating your average earnings, the WSIB subtracts the amount you would pay in income tax, Canada Pension Plan contributions, and Employment Insurance premiums to arrive at your net average earnings (NAE) at the time of your accident.  Your LOE benefits are 85% of the difference between your NAE and the amount that you are earning (or what the WSIB believes you could earn if working at a job suitable for your injury) after the accident.   

The WSIB sets a maximum amount for average earnings each year.  Your average earnings cannot be more than the maximum amount set by the WSIB.  If you were severely injured, your long-term average earnings would not be less than 75% of your short-term average earnings.  The WSIB will review your pre-accident average earnings each year and make the necessary changes to protect against inflation. 

 

What if I had more than one job when I was injured? 

In order to receive benefits, the employer you were working for at the time of your accident must be covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997.  Your average earnings will be based on the earnings from all your employers, as long as you worked for them during the four weeks prior to the accident.  If you were self-employed for one or more of your jobs, your self-employment earnings would only be included in your average earnings if you had purchased optional insurance from the WSIB, or you worked in the construction industry and were injured after January 1, 2013. 

 

What if I return to work and my injury comes back? 

If you return to work but are unable to continue working because the same injury comes back, your average earnings will be based on either your earnings at the time of the accident or your earnings at your latest job, whichever is higher. 

 

What if I received payments that were not hourly or weekly wages?

Types of Payments

(This is not a complete list.  The WSIB may place more conditions on when and how these payments are included in average earnings.)

Included in Short-term Average Earnings

Included in Long-term Average Earnings

Mandatory Overtime (worked as part of a contract, collective agreement, or regularly scheduled work hours)

Yes

Yes

Regular Voluntary Overtime

Yes

Yes

Irregular Voluntary Overtime

No

Yes

Commissions

Yes

Yes

Tips (if included in earnings for income tax purposes)

Yes

Yes

Production Bonuses (daily, weekly, or monthly)

Yes

Yes

Production Bonuses (quarterly or yearly, or irregular)

No

Yes

Employment Insurance (EI) benefits (for lay-off or shortage of work)

No

Yes

EI benefits (for maternity/paternity or sickness leave)

No

No

EI benefits (for federal job creation/job sharing programs)

Yes

Yes

Room & Board that are part of earnings, but not repayment of special expenses

Yes

Yes

Holiday Pay that must be paid by law or under a contract

Yes

Yes

Vacation Pay as a percentage of base pay with each pay cheque

Yes

Yes

 Lump Sum Vacation Pay

a) up to the amount that must be paid by law or under a contract

b) above the amount that must be paid by law or under a contract

 

a) No

b) No​

 

a) Yes

B) No

 

January 2013

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

This publication contains general information only. It is not legal advice about a particular situation and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified representative. This publication was last updated on the revision date listed above.