If you own a business or are self-employed, you are not required to purchase workers compensation coverage for yourself. However, Personal Coverage is available to you to provide workers compensation benefits if you are injured at work.
Personal coverage is available to self-employed people and business owners including sole proprietors, business partners and directors of corporations.
WCB coverage for self-employed people and business owners provides similar benefits and services as those provided to workers in the event of a work-related injury. These include:
- income replacement benefits
- payment of allowable medical costs
- travel expenses if travel is required for medical treatment
- permanent impairment awards
- vocational rehabilitation
- benefits for dependants in the case of a fatality.
To find out if you’re eligible for Personal Coverage, contact the Assessment Services Department at (204) 954-4505 or toll free at 1-855-954-4321.
For more information on Personal Coverage for business owners, see the frequently asked questions below.
The cost of Personal Coverage is based on the risk of future claims costs and the value of what you insure. We define risk as the potential cost of future workplace injuries and determine value based on the level of income you wish to protect. Your risk is expressed in your WCB rate, which is multiplied by every $100 of the income you want to cover to determine your premium.
For example, if your WCB rate is $1.25 and you want to cover $30,000 in annual income, your premium would be $375. We will tell you your WCB rate when you call to register.
The WCB rate is the same for Personal Coverage as it is for workers in the same industry classification. Your WCB rate is based on your industry classification (a group of similar businesses) and your past claims costs (if any).
You can purchase WCB coverage for any amount of annual income within the range set by the WCB. For 2021, the minimum is $26,010 and the maximum is $528,590.
When deciding how much coverage to purchase, you should consider your income level and your other sources of coverage. Buying too little coverage could mean your benefits will not be adequate, but buying more coverage than you need could mean you pay higher premiums than necessary. Before making your decision, you may want to consult with your financial advisor or private insurance carrier. See income replacement amounts for different levels of coverage.
If you decide to buy coverage for more than the minimum income level, you will need to provide proof of your earnings to receive income replacement benefits above the minimum. You can provide proof of your earnings when you purchase/renew your personal coverage or when you make a claim for income replacement benefits due to a work-related injury or illness. By providing proof of earnings when you purchase or renew your coverage, you will receive the full income replacement benefits you are entitled to more quickly, should you need to make a claim. If you decide to provide proof of your earnings when you purchase or renew your coverage, your verified earnings level will remain in effect for the current and next year.
If you choose not to provide proof of your earnings at the time of purchase/renewal, in the event of a work injury or illness, your income replacement benefits will be based on the minimum level of coverage at first. Your benefits will be retroactively adjusted once we have been able to verify a higher level of earnings.
Note: If you purchase more than the minimum, and your annual income falls between when you purchase coverage and when you make a claim for income replacement, you may ask us to refund the difference between the premium you paid and the premium you would have paid based on the verified lower earnings.
All you need to do to provide proof of your earnings is provide the WCB with permission to access your income tax returns from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or another independent source – we’ll do the rest.
To verify your earnings, we review your income tax returns and supporting documents from the previous one to two years. We may obtain this information from Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) or another independent source signed by a certified accountant (CPA, CA, CGA or CMA). On occasion, we may require additional documents to verify your earnings.
Directors With 50 Per Cent or More Ownership
To calculate earnings for Directors with 50 per cent or more ownership in a corporation, we add back the Director's shareholding percentage of net business income and depreciation/capital cost allowance to your reported T4 income.
Directors With Less Than 50 Per Cent Ownership
To calculate earnings for Directors with less than 50 per cent ownership in a corporation, we only consider reported T4 income.
Sole Proprietors and Partners
To calculate earnings for sole proprietors and partners, we add back the deductions taken for depreciation expense/capital cost allowance and Business Use of Home Expense to your reported Net Business Income.
For example, if your income tax return recorded Net Business Income of $20,000, a Capital Cost Allowance deduction of $5,000 and a Business Use of Home Expense deduction of $2,000, we would calculate your earnings at $27,000.
Once we have calculated your earnings, income replacement benefits are based on the lesser of:
- the level of coverage you purchased
- the amount of earnings we can verify you earned in previous years.
When we approve the level of coverage requested based on the information provided, your coverage level will remain in effect for the current and next year. You may adjust and re-calculate your earnings at any time.
Circumstances change. We recommend that you verify your earnings level at least once a year, before December 31. Your coverage will be automatically renewed every January 1; we will use any new information provided to us before December 31 to set your premium for the next year.
Your coverage will come into effect once your application is accepted. Personal Coverage remains in effect until you cancel coverage or until we cancel your coverage because you did not fulfill our reporting and payment requirements.
We will renew your Personal Coverage automatically on January 1 of each year at the same coverage level. If you purchased the minimum level of coverage, your coverage will be renewed at the new minimum level of coverage, which we recalculate annually.
For example, if you purchased the minimum level of coverage for 2020 ($25,290), when your coverage is renewed January 1, 2021, your coverage level is increased to the new 2021 minimum level of $26,010.
To cancel your coverage or change the level of coverage you have, contact the Assessment Services Department. Be sure to let us know of any changes you need by December 31 of each year, especially if you are cancelling your coverage or want to reduce your level of coverage. Otherwise your coverage will be automatically renewed on January 1 at the current level of coverage.
Seek medical attention for your injury or illness. Be sure to tell your doctor your injury or illness is work-related. As soon as you can, report your injury to the WCB.
You may report the injury over the phone by calling the Claim Information Centre at (204) 954-4321 or toll free at 1-855-954-4321 from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.