May 25, 2001

WSIB INFORMATION BULLETIN

AVERAGE EARNINGS, AND YOUR RATES OF PAYMENT

The following is taken from a WSIB document, with sections concerning private sector workers removed.


If you have a work-related injury or illness on or after January 1, 1998 and lose wages as a result, you are entitled to a Loss of Earnings (LOE) benefit. The amount of your LOE benefit is based on 85 per cent of your pre-injury take-home earnings.

To provide an accurate estimate of your average earnings, the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (the Board) takes into account your average weekly rate of earnings at the time of your injury and any employment pattern which results in a variation of those earnings.

Short-term average earnings

With the exception of workers who have arranged for optional insurance (see Optional Insurance Fact Sheet), the Board will base the first 12 weeks of your LOE benefit on your short-term average earnings.

Short-term average earnings are all of the earnings you had with all employers that you worked for at the time of the injury. The earnings used to calculate your short-term average earnings include:

  • · the hourly, daily, or weekly rate of pay with your employer at the time of the injury  
  • · shift differentials, using a weekly average  
  • · vacation pay (if paid as a percentage of the base rate with each pay cheque)
  • · regularly scheduled overtime (to be considered "regular" overtime must have been worked in each of the four weeks before the injury)  
  • · regular production bonuses and commissions  
  • · tips  
  • · room and board, if these are part of your pay  
  • · the hourly, daily, or weekly pay with other employers, if you were working for them at the time of your injury (concurrent employment)
  • Occasional overtime earnings, irregular production bonuses and commissions, or earnings from other employers (if you were not working for them at the time of injury) are not included.

    Calculation of long-term average earnings

    Workers in permanent, regular employment

    When your pre-injury job is permanent, for example, you are employed 52 weeks a year with no termination date, we expect that your long-term average earnings will be the same as your short-term average earnings. For workers in permanent employment, the Board will not automatically recalculate average earnings in the 13th week of LOE benefits.

    You can request a recalculation if you feel that your short-term average earnings do not fairly reflect what you earned in the year before your injury. For example, if you earned occasional overtime or you were only working part-time at the time of the injury or you worked for another employer in the year before your injury, you might request a recalculation of your average earnings.

    Your employer can also request a recalculation of your short-term average earnings if you had periods of temporary layoffs during the year before your injury because of a shortage of work. If a recalculation is requested, the long-term average earnings will normally be based on what you earned with your accident employer in the 12 months before your injury.

    Workers in non-permanent or irregular employment
    If you are a contract worker, you are hired through a union hall, or you are a seasonal worker you most likely have fluctuations in your earnings as you move from job to job. It is likely that your average earnings calculated at the time of injury will be different from your long-term average earnings. To ensure that your LOE benefits fairly reflect your earnings, the Board will automatically recalculate your average earnings once you have received 12 weeks of LOE benefits. Your long-term average earnings are normally based on the earnings you had from all employers in the 24 months before your injury.

    Many non-permanent workers experience periods of unemployment between jobs. If you experience unemployment due to the nature of your work, that period of unemployment is factored into the calculation of your long-term average earnings. However, any employment insurance benefits that you received during this time will be included as earnings.

    Workers might also experience periods when they do not earn a wage. If these periods are not due to the nature of your work, for example parental leaves, or periods of full-time study, they are not included in the calculation of long term average earnings.

    Concurrent employment

    When you work for more than one employer at the time of the accident, your short-term earnings basis is the sum of all of your earnings from those employers. A recalculation may occur if you still receive the LOE benefit after 12 weeks. Earnings in the prior one or two years will be used in the calculation depending upon the nature of your jobs.

    Workers' obligations

    If you are receiving an LOE benefit from the Board, you may have to supply us with the information we need to determine your average earnings. This may include income statements that you have submitted to Revenue Canada. The Board may reduce or suspend benefits if you fail to provide the information, as this is considered non-cooperation. Although full benefits will be restored once you cooperate, these payments are not retroactive.

    Benefit-related debts

    If the recalculation produces a higher long-term average earnings, the higher LOE benefit that results is paid starting in the 13th week and no retroactive adjustment is made. If the recalculation produces a lower long-term earnings basis, the lower LOE benefit is paid from the 13th week and no benefit-related debt is created.

    Recurrences

    If you return to work and experience a recurrence, you may be entitled to further LOE benefits. The amount of the benefit depends on your earnings at the time of the recurrence or at the time of the original accident, whichever is higher.

    Ontario's Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) plays a key role in the province's occupational health and safety system. Funded by employers, the WSIB is one of the top 10 disability insurers in North America. In addition to a strong prevention mandate, the WSIB provides insurance for injuries and illnesses incurred in workplaces covered under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act and supports early and safe return to work.

    This information is available in French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Chinese.

    Information hotline: (416) 344-4999 Toll-free: 1-800-465-5606
    TTY: 1-800-387-0050


    In Solidarity

    Mike Duquette
    President
    Scarborough Local