Ontario's Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) offers employers a cost relief program called SIEF to encourage the employment of workers with a pre-existing injury or disability. Here's what you need to know about the program:
What does SIEF stand for?
Secondary Injury Enhancement Fund
What is the objective of SIEF?
The program provides employers with financial relief when an injured worker's pre-existing condition "enhances or prolongs" a work-related disability. In lay terms, it means that an employer will not be held fully financially responsible for a workplace injury that was caused by a worker's pre-existing condition or if their recovery is delayed/prolonged due to that condition. This program was created to help encourage employers to hire workers who had previous injuries or disabilities.
What does the policy say?
SIEF Policy (14-05-03) states that if a prior disability caused or contributed to the compensable accident, or if the period resulting from an accident becomes prolonged or enhanced due to a pre-existing condition, all or part of the compensation and health care costs may be transferred from the accident employer in Schedule 1 to the SIEF. Both physical and psychological disabilities are included.
Does this impact the benefits a worker can receive?
No, acquiring SIEF does not impact the amount of benefits paid to a worker. It only provides financial relief for the employer. It is important that your worker understand that you are not (necessarily) objecting to the validity of their claim if you are asking questions about a pre-existing condition.
What are the potential cost savings?
The potential cost savings for employers is substantial, sometimes in excess of $150,000-$200,000 for a single claim. However, occasionally the built-in insurance features of WSIB (such as firm caps, claims limits) can minimize the impact of SIEF cost relief. A complimentary analysis of your NEER statement by Clear Path's experts will help determine if pursuing SIEF cost relief is worthwhile for your company.
What definitions does the WSIB use when determining SIEF?
How does the WSIB calculate how much (if any) cost relief will be granted and "transferred" away from the employer and to the Board?
The WSIB uses a matrix which contrasts the level of medical significance of the pre-existing condition versus the severity of the accident (see below).
Is it difficult to acquire SIEF from the Board?
What is the process to apply for SIEF?
Want to learn more?
Consider registering for one of Clear Path's upcoming learning sessions:
Of course, you can always contact Anna Aceto-Guerin at (519) 624-0800 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any of your WSIB-related questions. We look forward to hearing from you!
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