Surviving dependent spouse

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Read excerpts from the WCB’s governing legislation on compensation to the surviving dependent spouse of a worker who has died as a result of a workplace injury.

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Compensation to dependants

Surviving dependent spouse

81 (1) If the worker is survived by a dependent spouse, compensation in the form of a monthly allowance is payable to that spouse for a period of five years in an amount equal to the greater of:

  1. in the case of a worker:

(i) who sustained an injury before September 1, 1985, 75% of the deceased worker’s average weekly earnings multiplied by 4.33; or

(ii) who sustained an injury on or after September 1, 1985, 90% of the deceased worker’s average weekly earnings multiplied by 4.33; and

(b) 50% of the amount equal to the average weekly wage as of June in the preceding year multiplied by 4.33.

(2) If a surviving dependent spouse has dependent children of the worker, the compensation payable pursuant to subsection (1) is to be extended until the youngest child:

  1. reaches the age of 16 years; or
  2. if any dependent child is in full-time attendance at a secondary or post-secondary institution, reaches the age of 18 years.

(3) If compensation is paid to a surviving dependent spouse pursuant to subsection (1) for a period exceeding 24 consecutive months:

  1. the board shall set aside an amount equal to 10% of the compensation paid during the 24-month period and of the future compensation to be paid after the expiry of the 24-month period; and
  2. the amount mentioned in clause (a), together with accrued interest, must be used to provide an annuity for the surviving dependent spouse at age 65.

(4) If compensation is paid to a surviving dependent spouse pursuant to subsection (2):

  1. the board shall set aside an amount equal to 10% of the compensation paid; and
  2. the amount mentioned in clause (a), together with accrued interest, must be used to provide an annuity for the surviving dependent spouse at age 65.

(5) In addition to any compensation payable pursuant to subsection (1), the board may provide to the surviving dependent spouse the same counselling and vocational assistance as would be provided to a worker in order to enable the dependent spouse to enter the labour force and become self-sufficient.

(6) On and from the expiration of entitlement to compensation pursuant to subsection (1) or (2) and subject to section 101, a surviving dependent spouse of a deceased worker is entitled to compensation, until the surviving dependent spouse reaches the age of 65 years, equal to the difference between:

  1. the amount of the monthly allowance that would be payable pursuant to subsection (1) if the surviving dependent spouse were entitled to that allowance; and
  2. the earnings that the surviving dependent spouse is earning from employment.

(7) For the purposes of subsection (6), the definition of “earnings” in clause 2(1)(k) applies, with any necessary modification.

Other relevant sections from The Workers’ Compensation Act, 2013:

Compensation to dependants

Compensation and expenses payable on death of worker – Section 80

If dependants do not live together  – Section 82

Certain dependent children 18 to 25 years – Section 83

Adopting parent, etc., of dependent children  – Section 84

If there are only dependent children  – Section 85

Other dependants  – Section 86

Partial dependency  – Section 87

Proof of necessities, etc.  – Section 88

General

Compensation reduced by certain benefits under Canada Pension Plan  – Section 95

Other benefits to be taken into account  – Section 96

If worker or dependant under legal disability  – Section 97

Board may fix periods of payment – Section 98

Suspension of payment  – Section 99

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