Earnings loss benefits for a dependent spouse

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A dependent spouse may be paid monthly compensation benefits equal to 90 per cent of the deceased worker’s net earnings. Learn how the earnings loss benefits are adjusted every year, how they’re divided into two time periods and how to receive your benefits sooner.

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As a dependent spouse (either married or common law) of a worker whose death was the result of a work injury, you will receive a monthly allowance. This benefit cannot be transferred upon your death; however, it will continue if you remarry.

Earnings loss benefits are adjusted every year to keep up with the Consumer Price Index and are not affected by benefits you may receive from private life insurance companies.

Earnings loss benefits are divided into two time periods:

  • First five years: You will receive a monthly allowance of 90 per cent of your deceased spouse’s average net weekly earnings for the first five years or until the youngest child is 16 years old (or 18 years old if the child is enrolled at a secondary or post-secondary institution).

In some cases, a worker may have no earnings at the time of death. If this is your situation, you are eligible for minimum compensation.

Learn more about the minimum and maximum assessable wage rates.

  • After five years (or when the youngest child is 16 years of age or 18 years old if enrolled at a secondary or post-secondary institution): If you are able to work, the WCB will top up your employment earnings to the amount of the monthly allowance (indexed annually) until you reach 65.

If you could work but choose not to, the WCB may estimate what you could earn and deduct that amount from the monthly allowance (payable until you reach 65.)

When you receive benefits, you can ask the WCB to either issue a cheque or directly deposit the benefits into your bank account.


Contact information

The WCB is committed to helping you. We are available to answer your questions.

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