Permanent Disability Benefits

Last updated on October 6, 2021

What are permanent disability benefits?

If you suffered a work-related injury or illness that permanently impacted you or your ability to work, you may be eligible for permanent disability benefits as compensation for either your loss of earning capacity or for the actual physical or psychological loss from the impairment itself.

There are two methods of assessing permanent disability benefits:

1. The loss of function method, and

2. The loss of earning method

To learn more, including how and when WorkSafeBC decisions are made, what to expect, how benefits are calculated and paid, and what to do if you disagree with a WorkSafeBC decision, please read our Permanent Disability Awards Factsheet.

Can I choose if I want my award paid monthly or in a lump sum?

Permanent disability awards are usually paid in installments at the end of each month, but can also be paid in one lump sum. This is called commutation. In order to successfully apply for a commutation, you will need to show that the payment of a lump sum will improve your chances of a secure income over the tong-term.

For a full explanation of how permanent disability awards are paid, read our Permanent Disability Awards: Lump Sums and Commutations Factsheet.

What happens if I get injured close to my retirement date?

If you are injured before you reached the age of 63, WorkSafeBC will generally make the decision on the duration of your benefits after you reach the age of 63 but before you reach the age of 65.

If you are 63 years of age or older on the date of your injury, WorkSafeBC will generally make the decision on your retirement date either as part of their decision on permanent disability benefits, or occasionally as part of a decision on wage loss benefits.  

To learn about what evidence you should provide to show that you would work past age 65, see our Duration of Benefits for Workers Injured on or after June 30, 2002 Factsheet.

How do retirement benefits work if I'm receiving Permanent Disability benefits?

If you are awarded benefits for permanent disability, you will be entitled to retirement benefits at age 65. WorkSafeBC will then stop paying your Permanent Disability benefits and pay you a one-time only Retirement Benefit.

To learn how your retirement benefit is calculated and how to manage and contribute to this fund, read our Retirement Benefits Factsheet.