Vocational Rehabilitation – Equipment and Tools
Effective date: November 1, 2004
Application: All purchases of equipment and tools for vocational rehabilitation
Policy subject: Return to work and vocational rehabilitation
To establish guidelines for the purchase of equipment and tools for vocational rehabilitation programs.
Equipment and Tools for:
- Academic/Technical Training may include but are not limited to computers, printers, software, textbooks, school supplies, and calculators.
- Return-to-Work may include but are not limited to anti-fatigue mats, air-ride hydraulic seats, ergonomic office equipment and uniforms or coveralls.
- Self-employment may include but are not limited to vehicles, buildings, tools, inventory, office equipment or protective safety equipment such as eye, face, hearing and respiratory devices.
- Section 111(a) of The Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013 (the “Act”), states that the Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB) “may take any measures that it considers necessary or expedient . . . to assist an injured worker in returning to work.”
- Section 115(e) of the Act states that WCB “may expend moneys from the fund for . . . any grant with respect to any costs of rehabilitation related to any injured worker re-entering the work force or to assist in lessening any hardship caused by the worker’s injury”.
- In some cases, it may be necessary as part of vocational rehabilitation, for the WCB to provide workers with equipment and/or tools required to complete a sponsored training program or to participate in re-employment opportunities. These are “tools of the trade” not normally provided by the training institute or employer and distinct from the specialized equipment or assistive devices provided under Policy POL 04/2015, Modifications – Home, Vehicle and Work. However, for the purchase of the latter (i.e., ergonomic office equipment) the conditions of purchase contained in this policy will be followed.
- Parts VII and VIII of the Occupational Health and Safety, Regulations, 1996 (“OH&S Regulations”), require employers to provide adequate and approved personal protective and safety equipment suitable to the risks of the industry.
- All equipment and tools, including conditions of purchase (below) must be identified in the approved Individualized Vocational Plan (IVP) signed by the worker and WCB.
- Where workplace modifications are provided pursuant to POL 04/2015, Modifications – Home, Vehicle and Work, the employer will be advised of the conditions of purchase below.
- Equipment and tools will be approved only where the employer or educational/training institute does not normally provide them or they are required for a self-employment plan.
- With the exception of self-employment plans, WCB will not provide personal protective and safety equipment that employers are required to provide under the OH&S Regulations.
- All purchases must be preauthorized by WCB and are subject to the requirements of the Procurement Procedure (PRO 07/2012).
- To ensure the equipment or tools meet the requirements of the program or workplace, the Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist (VRS) may consult with technical experts and/or program advisors for specifications.
- Purchases or grants will be provided on a one-time only basis.
- Where cost-effective, leasing will be considered as an alternative to purchasing. Program duration and availability, quality and cost of items will contribute to the decision-making process.
Conditions of Purchase
- Single item purchases under $2500 will be subject to the following conditions:
- Workers will be granted ownership of item(s), except where a cost sharing agreement has been made with an employer (e.g., training-on-the-job). In the latter case, ownership will be determined by the WCB, in agreement with the employer, prior to purchase.
- The worker will be responsible for the maintenance, repair or replacement of the purchased items. Exceptions may be made where this causes undue hardship to the worker, provided the damage was not caused by a wilful or intentional act.
- In addition to provisions of Point 9(b), single item purchases $2500 and greater will be subject to the following conditions:
- WCB will file a security interest for Personal or Real Property with the appropriate Registry for the original purchase price of the equipment and tools.
- The worker will be responsible for all costs pertaining to insurance, licensing, registration, transfer of titles and any other legal costs. The worker must provide confirmation that insurance has been obtained before WCB will release funds or distribute purchased items.
- WCB will remove its interest in equipment and tools valued at $2500 or greater:
- Twelve months following successful completion of the IVP; or,
- When the IVP has not been successfully completed but the Estimation of Earnings Capacity is based on the occupation identified in the IVP.
- WCB will recover equipment and tools valued at $2500 or greater when:
- The IVP has not been successfully completed; and,
- The Estimation of Earnings Capacity is based on a different occupation from the one identified in the IVP and the equipment and/or tools are not necessary in order for the worker to participate in the alternative occupation.