Claim Decision and Benefits
- How do Operations staff determine if a fatality claim is work related?
- Operations staff will determine if a fatality arose out of and in the course of employment (POL 03/2017, Arising Out of and In the Course of Employment; POL 04/2014 Fatalities, Presumption). Other policies that relate to determining claim acceptability can be found in the Decision Making – Principles and Injuries section of WCB’s Policy and Procedure Manual.
- Upon request, Operations staff may request the worker’s:
- Government-issued death certificate from eHealth Saskatchewan’s Vital Statistics registry, and/or
- Autopsy report from the Office of the Chief Coroner.
- How are benefits determined for dependants of a fatally injured worker?
- If Operations staff determine that a fatality has arisen out of and in the course of employment, benefits may be provided to dependent spouses, children or other dependants.
- Additional information about dependants and their eligibility for benefits is covered in the Fatalities – Dependents section of WCB’s Policy and Procedure Manual.
Necessary Expenses including Burial
- Are burial costs covered if a fatality is work related?
- Operations staff will pay a lump sum to assist with the necessary expenses of the death of the worker, including burial.
- The amount will be paid to the worker’s estate.
- If it is determined that payment should be made to someone other than the worker’s estate, Operations staff have the ability to determine to whom necessary expenses should be paid (Section 92).
- The lump sum amount is set through PRO 15/2020, Consumer Price Index (CPI) – Annual Increase – 2020.
Transportation of a Deceased Worker
- If Operations staff determine that a fatality has arisen out of and in the course of employment, are the costs for the transportation of a deceased worker covered?
- Costs for the transportation of a body to their usual place of residence will be paid.
- If a fatality occurs in a different community or location from where the worker’s family lives, at the family’s request, Operations staff will pay to transport the worker’s body to his or her usual place of residence.
- Reimbursement for the transportation costs will be made to the worker’s estate, to the person who paid the transportation costs or directly to the funeral home. A copy of the original receipt is required.
Medical Assistance in Dying (MAID)
- What happens when a worker receives medical assistance in dying?
- Operations staff will determine if a worker received medical assistance in dying as a result of a compensable injury or disease, and if such assistance was provided in accordance with federal law and provincial regulatory organizations (i.e., College of Physicians and Surgeons of Saskatchewan).
- If Operations staff determine that the worker received medical assistance in dying as a result of a compensable injury or disease, Operations staff will consider the fatality to have arisen out of and in the course of employment.
- If a worker is legally eligible for medical assistance in dying, but has a non-work-related condition(s) in addition to his or her work-related injury or disease that contributed to the need for MAID, Operations staff will determine whether the work-related injury or disease significantly contributed to the worker becoming legally eligible for medical assistance in dying. If so, the fatality will be considered to have arisen out of and in the course of employment.
- Operations staff may request an opinion from a WCB Medical Officer in cases where MAID is involved.
Contact with Families
- How does Extended Services staff assist the family of a fatally injured worker?
- The Extended Services Department provides personalized care to individuals and families impacted by workplace fatalities.
- Extended Services staff will offer to arrange face to face meetings with the families of fatally injured workers. The purpose of these meetings is to:
- Discuss the overall WCB process.
- Discuss the benefits and support the WCB may provide.
- Provide information packages.
- If required, obtain information needed for adjudication purposes.
- Staff will document on workers’ claim files:
- Offers for in person meetings, and
- The results or summaries of the in person meetings.
- Any other correspondence with family members.
- If immediate family members of a fatally injured worker need help coping, does WCB provide coverage for counselling services?
- WCB will offer and arrange counselling sessions for immediate family members who need assistance coping with a worker’s fatal injury.
- Staff will offer to pay up to five counselling sessions (one initial assessment and four follow-up visits). On a case by case basis, counselling support may extend past five sessions.
- Staff will reimburse travel costs to family members that need to travel outside their home community for counselling sessions. Travel, lodging and meal rates are subject to WCB travel rates (PRO 01/2019, Expenses – Travel Expense Rates).
- Staff will document on workers’ claim files:
- Offers for counselling, and
- The family members that attend counselling.
- What other benefits are available to the immediate family members of a fatally injured worker?
- Operations staff may provide support to a worker’s immediate family that need to attend a treatment facility in relation to the worker’s death.
- Operation staff will determine needed support on a case by case basis (e.g., travel, lodging, meals, childcare, etc.).
- If the family does not live in Saskatchewan, staff may limit travel support to one immediate family member.