Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island

Reduced Rates and Increased Benefits for Workers

November 05, 2018

The Workers Compensation Board (WCB) has once again reduced the average assessment rate for Island employers.  The average assessment rate for 2019 will be $1.58 per $100 of payroll which is a two cent decrease from the 2018 rate.

Every year the WCB establishes the average employer assessment rate to cover the current and future costs for injured workers. Based on the actual costs to the system, the required average assessment rate would be $1.66, but because of its strong funded position, the WCB was able to apply an 8 cent downward funding policy adjustment to achieve a rate of $1.58 for 2019.


To ensure that the funding policy continues to remain relevant and meets the needs of the system, the WCB recently reviewed and made amendments to its funding policy. The amendments make the policy easier to understand and will allow for responsiveness, while continuing to minimize volatility to employers. The revised policy recommends that a surplus distribution be considered if the funding status is greater than 140%. As a result of the Funding Policy, the Board has approved $22 million to be distributed to employers.

“Investments have continued to perform extremely well over the past several years, which lead to a strong funded position in 2017,” said Stuart Affleck, Chair of the Workers Compensation Board. “This allowed us an opportunity to consider another surplus distribution to employers as well as reduced assessment rates and increased benefits to workers.”

 

Given that investment portfolios and benefit obligations can fluctuate from year to year, the Board will continue to review these factors annually, when considering a surplus distribution, in accordance with their funding policy.


All Island employers will be advised of their individual assessment rates in December 2018, which are based on the costs of claims and the risks of workplace injury in their industries.

 

The surplus will be distributed to eligible employers in November 2018. For more information on the surplus distribution or assessment rates, please visit wcb.pe.ca.

 

The workers compensation system is a balance of employer and worker interests. Over the past year, the WCB has introduced many improvements for workers as well. This includes the introduction of presumptive legislation for PTSD for all occupations; enhancements to the home modifications policy that respond to the unique needs of injured workers, particularly those who have experienced catastrophic injuries; as well as increased benefits for travel related expenses for workers. Over the past year, the Board has also increased funding to the Workers Compensation Appeal Tribunal (WCAT) system to alleviate the backlog and provide injured workers with enhanced services. 
 

The Board of Directors have approved a number of other improvements for workers, the consultation process has been finalized and Government has approved these priorities, therefore we look forward to implementing increases to the lump sum death benefit; definition to impairment expanded to include psychological impairments such as PTSD; addition of an Annuity program;  Presumptive coverage for firefighters for certain cancers and heart injuries and amendments to the OHS Act and regulations to include provisions for workplace harassment.

 

In addition to these benefits, WCB is also pleased to be offering for the first time, the WCB Grant program that supports innovative workplace solutions and training and educational opportunities for Island employers and workers. “With the many changes in workplaces today relating to safety and prevention, we are hearing there’s a real need to assist employers and workers in this area, the Grant Program is one way to achieve this goal,” said Luanne Gallant, CEO of Workers Compensation Board of PEI.



Media Contact:
Laura Steeves, Senior Communications Coordinator
902-894-0362 or lsteeves@wcb.pe.ca