A look at 2021 legislative changes

In December 2020, the Government of Alberta passed new legislation that amended the Workers’ Compensation Act with changes effective January 1 and April 1, 2021. 

Throughout the implementation of these changes, our priority is to keep stakeholders informed and consult on areas where we need further input.

As of January 1, 2021:

  • In the event a worker is terminated from modified work due to their own egregious conduct, WCB will pay benefits as though the modified work is still in place.

  • The annual cost-of-living adjustment is set by WCB’s Board of Directors. 

  • Workers’ maximum compensable earnings are set at $98,700 for 2021.

  • Presumptive traumatic psychological injury coverage applies to first responders, correctional officers and emergency dispatchers. Non-presumptive coverage remains in place for all workers.

As of April 1, 2021:

  • A new duty to cooperate applies to both workers and employers, replacing employers’ obligation to reinstate their workers after a workplace injury.

  • For new claims, employers are no longer required to contribute to group health benefit plans for injured workers who are off work due to a workplace injury.

  • Fairness review services are provided by WCB, overseen by a new fairness review officer accountable to WCB’s Board of Directors.

  • The timeline to request appeals to the Appeals Commission adjusts to one year, aligning with the time limit to request an internal review.

  • The roster of independent medical examiners is maintained by WCB.