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Permanent disability benefits

Sometimes a work-related injury or illness results in a permanent disability. If your disability is likely to impair your future earning capacity, you may be eligible for a permanent disability award from us. The amount of the award depends on the circumstances of your claim.

Assessing your eligibility for disability awards

To help us assess your eligibility for an award, we may ask you to have a specialized medical exam so we can get a better understanding of what you can and cannot do.

Our focus is on whether and how your condition impairs your future earnings capacity. If we find it does, we look at providing a permanent disability award.

How we calculate disability award amounts

A permanent functional impairment award is calculated according to the provisions of the Workers Compensation Act. The Act requires us to pay disability award benefits according to a long-term wage rate that is based on your earnings. We multiply your long-term wage-loss rate by your disability rating.

This rating is an estimate of how your disability will affect your future earnings. The ratings for various types of impairments are set out in the Permanent Disability Evaluation schedule.

How we pay disability awards

We pay permanent disability awards either:

  • In a lump sum, when your overall disability rating is less than 10 percent and the monthly payment is less than $200

or

  • On a monthly basis, when your overall disability rating is 10 percent or more and the monthly payment is more than $200.

Cost of living allowance

Once a full year has passed since an injury or death, a cost of living allowance may be applied to ongoing payments. Once eligible, the cost of living allowance may be applied each subsequent January 1. See the cost of living allowance for this year.

Disability awards and your retirement

Disability awards are usually paid until retirement at age 65. There are some exceptions that depend on individual circumstances, such as age at the time of injury and a specific plan made prior to the injury to work beyond age 65.

If you receive a monthly disability award, you’re also entitled to a retirement benefit. We set aside five percent of your award and invest it until the date of your retirement. In the case of lump sum benefits, we pay this at the time the award is granted. For monthly benefits, we pay this when you have reached the age of retirement.

Canada Pension Plan Disability benefits and your disability award

Some workers get Canada Pension Plan disability benefits for their injury or illness. If you qualify for this, you must let us know as we may deduct an amount equal to half of the CPP payment from our payment(s) to you.

Need more information?

For general claim-related questions, your case manager is your main point of contact. For specific questions about permanent disability awards, please contact our Claims team and ask to speak to someone in Disability Awards.