Document name
Attachment of Compensation
Document number
POL 04/2010

Effective date: February 3, 2012

Application: All obligatory notices of attachment of compensation benefits on and after the effective date.

Policy subject: Termination, reduction or suspension of benefits


To establish guidelines for legal attachments on compensation.


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Wage loss benefits, also referred to as loss of earnings benefits, means the compensation payment for the wage loss incurred beyond the day of injury by a worker as a result of a workplace injury. Wage loss benefits are based on the injured worker’s gross earnings up to the maximum insurable amount and include short-term wage loss, earnings replacement, and or any commutation of these, paid in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”). Wage loss benefits may also include a medical pension granted under The Workers’ Compensation Act, 1974.


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  1. Section 165 of the Act directs that no compensation payable to a worker may be assigned, charged or attached without approval from the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). The exception is where the WCB receives notices of garnishment that are obligatory in nature.
  2. Legal attachments on compensation originate almost exclusively from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), support orders and agreements filed under The Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act, 1997, or Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC).
  3. Section 33 of The Enforcement of Maintenance Orders Act, 1997 directs that notwithstanding any other Act, any notice of garnishment or notice of continuing garnishment served pursuant to this Act has priority over:
    1. Any assignment made after the date of service of that notice; or
    2. Any garnishment, execution or attachment made pursuant to any other Act against the same money whether made before or after service of the notice or garnishment or notice of continuing garnishment.


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  1. All legal attachments on compensation from the CRA, the Saskatchewan Ministry of Justice and Attorney General’s Maintenance Enforcement Office (MEO), or ESDC will be honoured by the WCB according to the terms of these agencies.
  2. In cases of multiple notices of garnishment that are obligatory in nature, the CRA will have exclusive priority regardless of reason. Second priority will be given to the MEO, and third priority to ESDC.
  3. A garnishee must pay the full amount required by the CRA before honouring legal attachments from the MEO or ESDC.
  4. Where an obligatory notice of garnishment is received, wage loss benefits, permanent functional impairment or disfigurement awards will be subject to the terms of the notice or order. Annuity benefits will be subject to garnishment if the notice or order is in effect at the time the worker turns age 65 and the annuity is payable, unless any applicable legislation requires payment before age 65.
  5. Monetary benefits paid to third parties for services provided in connection with the treatment, rehabilitation and or accommodation of workers (e.g., medical services provided by health care professionals, work or home modifications completed by contractors) are exempt from legal attachments. Allowances and reimbursements provided for travel, sustenance and medications will not be subject to garnishment.

Policy references

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Legislative Authority

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Document History

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POL 09/2008 Attachment of Compensation

01 January 2014. References updated in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013

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