December 31, 1999
to February 27, 2002
The Workers' Compensation Act (the Act) provides compensation based on the dual award system. A worker who has suffered a work-related disability may be eligible for compensation in the form of a permanent impairment award or loss of earnings benefits. If a worker is absent from work because of a work-related disability, they may be entitled to 75% of their gross weekly loss of earnings. This benefit is normally referred to as a "loss of earnings benefit" or "earnings lossbenefit."
As a starting point in the calculation of earnings loss, the board must determine how much a worker earns from employment-related income. This amount is referred to as "average weekly earnings" in the Act, and cannot exceed an amount set annually by the Board (known as "the maximum wage rate").
Under the Act, the board has the authority and exclusive jurisdiction to calculate average weekly earnings. Calculations of average weekly earnings may be based on any sources of earnings and over such periods of time that the board considers fair and just. This policy establishes the method for calculating average weekly earnings and the resulting earnings loss benefit.
All claim decisions may be appealed to the Workers' Compensation, Health and Safety Board. Calculations of average weekly earnings and resulting benefit rates are claim decisions.
Adjudicators or other appropriate staff will render reasonable assistance to workers to help them to understand this policy. Staff will also assist workers to understand how calculations of average weekly earnings or benefit rates were made.
The purpose of the policy is to ensure that disabled workers who suffer a loss of earnings are compensated at a rate that reflects their most likely loss of earnings. Calculations of average weekly earnings and the resulting benefit rate should recognize the real short and longterm cost to workers of time lost from work