NEW: EXPANDED COVERAGE FOR PSYCHOLOGICAL INJURIES
After extensive lobbying by the MFL and its affiliates, the WCB has changed its policy on psychological injuries. As of May 1, 2023, there will be coverage for psychological injuries arising from excessive workload. This adds to previous coverage for psychological injuries caused by traumatic events including violence, bullying and harassment.
The MFL will continue to lobby government and the WCB to further expand coverage to all workplace psychological injuries. All workplace injuries deserve WCB support!
For more information about this policy change, read the WCB’s FAQ.
Report all injuries:
All workplace injuries should be reported to your employer, including injuries that seem minor. Some workplace injuries and illnesses develop over time. A worker’s notes about a work injury or illness can be used in the future to determine how the injury or illness was work-related.
If you don’t report an injury, not only may you not get the Workers Compensation benefits to which you are entitled, there may also be a missed opportunity to address a workplace hazard.
The WCB may provide various kinds of support or assistance if your claim is accepted. These include:
· Replacement of lost wages if you miss work.
· Health care costs such as medications, treatments or devices to aid recovery.
· A lump-sum Impairment Award to compensate for any permanent impairment, scarring, etc. you may suffer.
· Where required, training, education, jobs search assistance and other supports to assist in re-employment.
You can find more information on WCB benefits at:
You have a right to contest and appeal WCB decisions about your claim, including decisions about:
· Whether your claim is accepted.
· The amount of wage-loss or other benefits you receive.
· Termination or reduction of your benefits, including supports to help you get back to work.
· There are several levels of appeal, including the Case Manager or Adjudicator assigned you your claim, the WCB’s internal Review Office, and the external Appeal Commission.
You can find more information on appealing here:
To assist in contesting or appealing a decision, you can go to your union or seek help from the Worker Advisor Office, a free and confidential service, independent from the WCB. You can call the Office at 204-945-5787 (Winnipeg) or toll-free at 1-800-282-8069 (outside Winnipeg). You can find more information about the Worker Advisor Office at:
How to file a claim:
All injuries that require medical attention or cause you to miss work should be reported to the WCB. Information on reporting an injury and filing a claim can be found at:
Know Your Rights
Your employer cannot take any action to pressure or discourage you from exercising your right to report an injury, file a claim, or appeal a decision. Employers may be tempted to do so because the amount of premiums they pay to the WCB are determined in part by their injury record, but it is strictly prohibited under the law. See Section19.1(1) of The Workers Compensation Act.
Union activists and anyone wanting to know more about the workers compensation system and worker’s right under the system can go to the MFL’s WCB Resource Guide.
The MFL also offers courses each year, as part of our annual Health and Safety Conference, on “Supporting Injured Workers with WCB Claims.”
Return to Work
When you have worked for more than a year with your employer, and they have at least 25 employees, you are entitled to return to safe and appropriate work after your injury.
The options for return-to-work depend on the circumstances of each case.
Ideally, you will have recovered to the point where you can return to your previous job with your previous employer. If you have not fully recovered from the effects of the injury or illness but are able to perform suitable work, your employer must offer you employment in keeping with your medical restrictions, skills, and abilities. This may involve modifications to allow you to do your previous job or a different job similar in nature and earnings.
Sometimes a worker with medical restrictions is told there is no suitable work available with their pre-accident employer. Remember that your pre-injury employer is obligated to accommodate you in returning to work “to the point of undue hardship.” The onus is on the employer to show adequate evidence to support their claim that it is an undue hardship to accommodate you.
While each case is judged on its unique circumstances, the test of undue hardship takes into account such things as health and safety risk, financial cost, business efficiency, and the impact on employees and service users. The WCB refers to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission policy and guidelines on “reasonable accommodation” and will consider the circumstances of each case. You can find more information on workplace accommodation here:
If you cannot return to your pre-injury employer, you may get a similar job with a different employer, or even a different job with a different employer. Sometimes, this will involve the WCB providing you with various supports including retraining/re-education and job search assistance. Find more information about WCB services at:
Experiencing a workplace injury, especially one that keeps you off work for an extended time, can be traumatic and disruptive. Your return-to-work plan should ensure that you go back to work that is meaningful, in keeping with your skills and experience, and is safe for you given the effects of your injury.
The return-to-work process should not be designed solely to get you back to work as soon as possible. Injured workers are sometimes hurried back inappropriately in order to reduce the duration of the claim. They can also be given menial tasks which, in addition to not being aligned with the skills, can deter them or their fellow workers from filing claims in the future. These are forms of “claim suppression”, prohibited under the Workers Compensation Act.
You can find more information about your rights in the MFL’s WCB Resource guide (pages 84-90 and 64-73). If you have concerns or believe your rights are being violated, contact you union representative, your adjudicator/case manager, or the WCB general line at 204-954-4321 or 1-855-954-4321
The Key Principles
Remember, a proper and successful return-to-work plan is one that:
1. Involves the injured worker, employer, healthcare provider and the WCB working together
2. Is good for the worker’s recovery
3. Is good for the employer who gets their valued worker back sooner
4. Offers a safe and gradual Return to Work which may include modified duties
5. Provides meaningful work for the injured worker
6. Is tailored to the individual capabilities of the worker and based on clear guidelines provided by the healthcare provider
7. Involves supervisors and coworkers in supporting the injured worker and following the plan
8. Is monitored regularly by the employer, healthcare provider and the WCB to make sure the plan stays on track
9. Encourages all parties to contact the WCB if any issues arise.