PILR – Geoff Buxton: WCB Claims

DF Safety HSE Compliance, Management and Leadership, Small Business Safety Solutions, Workplace Safety

What to do When a WCB Claim Occurs.

When WCB claims occur, it often falls to the HR and/or H&S departments to manage claims and assist their injured employee with a safe return to work. Both departments have general knowledge of claims management and can certainly handle uncomplicated WCB claims. However, when faced with more complex files, appeals, and cost applications, a business should consider consulting a third-party disability management provider.  

To put the size and complexity of WCB into perspective, there are 1256 pages between the WCB Act and WCB policy manual here in Alberta – most provinces are comparable. By way of comparison, the Canadian Income Tax Act has 1664 pages (in English). WCB case managers must spend a minimum of 2 years working in the adjudication department before they can become case managers, during which time they will have handled hundreds if not thousands of files.   

The Difference a Specialist can Make

When it comes to complex files or appeals, a third-party disability management provider can step in to make sure that WCB is giving both your employees and your company the proper resolution. Providers can prepare appeals, cost applications, and give expert advice on claims management strategies.  For example, WCB will often approve wage loss benefits based on medical documentation that claims the employee cannot work at all, but did you know that employers can write directly to the medical providers to ask their opinion on modified work?   

This is a highly effective tool to make sure modified work is safe for your employees, but since WCB rarely does this, it falls on employers (or their representatives) to do so.  Effective advice can make a significant difference to your employees’ recovery and reduce the fiscal impact of WCB claims.  

The financial impacts of proper representation can be significant; especially for larger employers (75+ employees). on average, $100 in WCB claim costs will increase employer premiums by $300?  This means that saving a week of time loss through proper medical management can save thousands in premiums, plus result in a faster and safer return for your injured employees.   

The WCB system works, and it exists for a good reason, but it can be both expensive and hard to navigate.  A reliable disability management provider can guide you and your employees through the process with faster recoveries and lower WCB rates. 

And as always, trust DF Safety for any Safety Consultancy needs.

Written By: Geoff Buxton

Geoff Buxton is a Certified Disability Management Professional (CDMP) and Partner at CompCall, a firm specializing in WCB Claims Management 

Geoff Buxton has been a partner at CompCall since 2012. For more information on Geoff Buxton, visit CompCall.com