Minimum Wage Increase and LOE Benefits

 
Many injured workers who are receiving partial loss of earnings benefits will be affected by the increase in minimum wage to $14/hour effective January 1, 2018. 
For workers who are employed and receive a wage increase, the wage increase is a “material change” and must be reported to the WSIB. Generally, their LOE benefits will be decreased only if the wage increase is 10% or greater.
For workers who are unemployed and receive partial loss of earnings benefits based on “determined” earnings, the minimum wage will be considered at annual reviews. “Determined” earnings will increase by a maximum of 10% at each annual review, even if the new minimum wage would result in a greater increase.
At final review and post-lock-in reviews, the full value of the minimum wage in effect at the time of the review will be used to calculate determined earnings.
Workers with locked-in LOE benefits seeking a NEL increase due to a significant deterioration or new area of entitlement face downside risk because of the minimum wage increase. In cases in which the worker’s work-related condition has significantly deteriorated, the WSIB may review the worker’s LOE for a period of two years. The WSIB may apply the new minimum wage to “determined” post-injury earnings, resulting in a decrease to the worker’s LOE benefit. Workers should obtain legal advice before requesting additional areas of entitlement or a NEL increase.