New amendments to the Workers Compensation Act were recently approved in the fall 2021 sitting of the Legislative Assembly that help clarify and modernize the current legislation. Among the recent amendments to the Workers Compensation Act and regulation changed to the indexation of compensation benefits, which would increase the amount of benefits paid to workers on long term benefits and survivors of fatally injured workers.
Indexation refers to the adjustments made to workers compensation benefits to address increases in the cost of living each year. Previously, the legislation allowed for annual adjustments to extended wage loss benefits, pensions and survivor benefits based on 80% of the Consumer Price Index, up to 4% of the benefit amount. The adjustment is applied in July each year. The new changes would see the annual indexation of Extended Wage Loss, pension and survivor benefits increased to 100% of the annual change in the Consumer Price Index for PEI, up to a max of 4%.
“These changes will help to ensure that WCB claimants and surviving family members can keep up with the rising costs of living,” said Jim MacPhee, Chair of the Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island.
Other notable amendments include revised definitions of “worker” and “accident”, as well as the removal of the exclusion of the construction industry under return to work provisions.
These amendments to the Workers Compensation Act came into effect on November 17, 2021. Increases to the indexation of WCB extended wage loss, pension and survivor benefits will take place when the next annual calculation occurs on July 1, 2022.
Source: WCB PEI