Injuries – Travelling for or Attending Medical Aid or Return to Work Programming
Effective date: April 1, 2011
Application: All claims on and after the effective date.
Policy subject: Decision making - Injuries
To establish guidelines for claims where injuries are sustained while travelling for or attending medical aid or return-to-work programming as required by a work injury.
Return-to-Work Programming, in this context, means Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) sponsored programs aimed at assisting an injured worker in a return to suitable employment. These may include, but are not limited to, academic or technical training, work assessment, training on the job, job search programs, or employment skills development workshops.
Home community means the city, town, village, hamlet, First Nation’s community, etc., in which the worker’s permanent place of residence is located (within the limits or boundary). If residing in a rural area, the worker’s physical home address is considered the home community.
- Section 20(2)(b) of The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”) directs that the WCB shall have exclusive jurisdiction to examine, hear and determine all matters and questions arising under this Act and any other matter in respect of which a power, authority or discretion is conferred upon the board and, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, the WCB shall have exclusive jurisdiction to determine whether an injury has arisen out of or in the course of employment.
- Section 103 of the Act states:
This travel and attendance can place the worker at additional risk, which can be considered part of the effects of a work injury.
- In determining entitlement, the WCB considers there to be a parallel between:
- Travel for the purposes of employment and travel for medical aid or RTW programming as required by a work-related injury; and
- Injuries that occur on the work site and those that happen on the premises where medical aid or RTW programming is being received for a work-related injury.
- Due to a work injury, a worker may be required to:
- Travel for medical aid and attend a treatment centre (i.e., a hospital, a secondary or tertiary assessment/treatment centre, a counselling centre, a rehabilitation centre, a work hardening centre, etc.); or
- Travel for and attend return-to-work (RTW) programming at a work site or academic/technical training institution.
- to assist an injured worker in returning to work;
- to assist in lessening or removing any barriers resulting from the worker’s injury; or
- to encourage a dependent spouse of a deceased worker to become self-sufficient.”
- Section 111 of the Act states that the WCB “may take any measures that it considers necessary or expedient:
- The board shall furnish or arrange medical aid in any manner that it may approve.
- any medical aid that may be necessary as a result of the injury;
- any other treatment by a health care professional;
- any prosthetics or apparatus that may be necessary as a result of the injury, and to have any prosthetic limbs and eyes and any surgical appliances such as belts, braces, supports and orthopaedic shoes repaired, maintained and renewed when necessary by reason of accident or ordinary wear and tear; and
- any transportation or sustenance occasioned by the medical aid.
- Every worker who is entitled to compensation or who is disabled only on the day of the injury is entitled without charge to:
- The WCB will provide coverage for injuries arising in the course of travel for medical aid where the worker is:
- Injured while being immediately transported from the work site to a hospital or other place of treatment after a work injury;
- Travelling for medical aid in an ambulance or air ambulance; or
- Travelling for medical aid outside of the home community.
- The WCB will provide coverage for injuries arising in the course of travel for RTW programming where the worker is pre-authorized a WCB travel allowance to travel outside the home community.
- The WCB will not provide coverage for injuries arising in the course of travel for medical aid or RTW programming where:
- Medical aid or RTW programming is sought in the worker’s home community; or
- The worker deviates from the most practical route for personal reasons.
- The WCB may provide coverage for injuries a worker sustains on the premises where the worker is attending medical aid or RTW programming for a work injury. In respect of RTW programming, this will include academic/technical training institutions or an employer’s premises.
- Transition from WCB to Saskatchewan Government Insurance (SGI) benefits will be considered if a worker, while in receipt of WCB benefits, sustains an injury as a result of a motor vehicle incident. Where it is determined coverage is not valid, POL 06/2009, Benefits – Customers in Transition from WCB to SGI Benefits – will apply.
- Cost relief will be considered if injuries that arise in the course of travel for medical aid or RTW programming or while undergoing treatment for which WCB is responsible result in additional claim costs. POL 03/2021, Second Injury and Re-Employment Reserve, will apply.
(1) May 1, 2021. Housekeeping changes to update resident community to home community and its definition, and to remove reference to normal pre-injury travel requirement, as per POL 04/2021, Travel Expenses – General.
(2) March 1, 2021. Housekeeping change to include cost relief when a worker is undergoing treatment for which WCB is responsible as per POL 03/2021, Second Injury and Re-Employment Reserve.
(3) January 1, 2014. References updated in accordance with The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (Bill 58).
(4) POL 15/87, Injury Occurring while Travelling for Medical Aid and at the Place of Treatment (effective April 8, 1987 to March 31, 2011).
(5) POL 12/90, Injury Occurring While Travelling in Connection with and/or Participating in Board-Sponsored Vocational Rehabilitation Programs (effective March 29, 1990 to March 31, 2011).