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Cancers related to firefighting added to WCB coverage

Amendments to The Workers' Compensation Act, 2013 come into effect Oct. 1.
Workers’ compensation changes soon to come into effect also cover privacy protection, transparency, compensation expansion and other areas.

REGINA — On Oct. 1, amendments to The Workers' Compensation Act, 2013 will come into force, including the expansion of occupational disease coverage to include six additional forms of cancer (penile, pancreatic, thyroid, soft tissue sarcoma, mesothelioma and laryngeal cancer) for firefighters. 

The amendments also include:

  • updating the privacy provisions to: (1) mirror The Health Information Protection Act; (2) provide for administrative penalties if a privacy breach occurs; and (3) simplify the process for releasing information during reconsideration or review of a decision on compensation claims;
  • requiring all appeal tribunal decisions with rationale to be published;
  • covering the expenses associated with transporting a deceased worker's body to the usual residence outside Canada;
  • providing compensation to a worker's dependent children when the worker passes away from a non-work-related injury while on compensation no matter the length of time on compensation;
  • simplifying the medical review panel process;
  • increasing the permanent functional impairment award over a four-year period and indexing afterward; and
  • indexing the independence allowance.

On January 1, 2025, the amended definition of "worker" will come into force removing executive officers and including secondary and post-secondary students in recognized programs as well as providing the ability to add other categories of workers in the regulations.