Wage Loss Benefits

What are wage loss benefits?

Wage loss benefits are paid by WorkSafeBC to replace 90% of your wages if you cannot continue working due to a workplace injury or a work-related disease. Wage loss benefits are paid as long as your injuries or disease continue to disable you temporarily from working.  If your conditions become permanent, wage loss benefits will end, and you will be considered for a permanent disability award.

Wage loss benefits are paid for total disability or for partial disability.  If you are capable of working reduced hours or modified/light duties, you will receive partial benefits which will compensate you for the degree of income loss due to your disability.

How do I get paid?

Wage loss benefits are issued to you every two weeks either by mailed cheque or by EFT (electronic Funds Transfer). In an emergency, you may be allowed to pick a cheque at one of the WorkSafeBC offices.

How soon do I get paid?

Wage loss benefits may be issued once your claim has been accepted. If three weeks have gone by since you filed your claim, you can contact the person handling your claim.

How long do I get wage loss benefits?

You get wage loss benefits while your injury/injuries are temporary.  This means that wage loss benefits will end when:

  • you recover from your injury; or
  • your condition becomes permanent.

WorkSafeBC will usually provide you a decision letter that outlines their decision to stop your wage loss benefits and as of what date.

How does the WorkSafeBC determine if a disability is temporary?

A medical condition is considered “temporary” as long as it is likely to significantly worsen or improve within the next six to twelve months.  To determine whether this is the case, WorkSafeBC looks at the medical evidence available, including 

  • reports from your doctor and/or medical professionals;
  • the opinion of a specialist as set up by WorkSafeBC; and/or
  • the opinion of a WorkSafeBC doctor (usually referred to as the Board Medical Advisor).

What are my responsibilities while I am receiving wage loss benefits?

While you are receiving wage loss benefits, you must inform WorkSafeBC about any work that you do, or employment income that you receive.

If you plan to go on vacation or to leave British Columbia, you must let WorkSafeBC know and get approval from your doctor.  If you absence impairs your recovery or your ability to attend medical appointments and/or treatment, WorkSafeBC may suspend or terminate your wage loss benefits.

What if I disagree with a decision?

If you do not agree with the WorkSafeBC decision, you have the right to request a review by the Review Division. You must request a review within 90 days.  If you disagree with the Review Division decision you have 30 days from that decision to file an appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal.

This factsheet has been prepared for general information purposes. It is not a legal document. Please refer to the Workers Compensation Act and the Rehabilitation Services and Claims Manual Volume I and Volume II for purposes of interpretation and application of the law.