Claims FAQ for Workers

What type of injuries do I need to report to the WSCC?

Report if you: 

  • needed medical aid;
  • cannot return to work the day that the injury occurred;
  • are unable to return to your job after the day of the injury;
  • lose consciousness; or
  • were exposed to a dangerous substance.    

(*If any ONE of these instances apply.)

What happens to my Workers' Compensation benefits if I quit my job or refuse modified work duties?

A worker is to fully participate in the return to work program, when they are medically fit to do so. This includes accepting suitable work when it is available.

In cases where an employer can demonstrate that they have modified or light duties available for a worker, but the worker has quit despite being medically cleared to work, their benefits will terminate because they are not accepting suitable work when it is available.

Should a worker refuse modified work duties, despite being medically cleared, their benefits would also be suspended until they decide to accept the modified duties.

In those instances when an employer does not have light or modified duties available, or is unable to offer a graduated return to work, the WSCC would continue benefits and medical treatment until the worker is medically fit to return. 

What is the claims process?

To learn more about the claims process, review the Claims Process Map.

Why do I have to follow-up with my doctor every two weeks, while receiving compensation benefits?

A worker follows up with their doctor every two weeks to monitor their recovery. This is to ensure that a worker is receiving the appropriate treatment. It allows the adjudicator and/or case manager to make referrals to other health care providers in a timely manner. 

Health care providers must complete a functional abilities (second page of First Medical Report) form each time a worker checks in.  The completion of the functional abilities form allows the case manager or adjudicator to continue to communicate with the employer to determine if a worker is ready to return to modified duties or return to their regular duties. The functional abilities form is necessary for the employer to identify suitable and safe modified duties.

What is objective medical evidence?

Objective evidence refers to visible, measurable findings obtained by a medical examination, tests, or diagnostic imaging. Someone other than the injured worker must be able to see or feel the evidence. Examples of objective evidence include a broken leg or an abrasion. 

What is a permanent medical impairment (PMI)?

A Permanent Medical Impairment (PMI) is any permanent loss or abnormality of psychological, physiological, or anatomical structure or function.

What if I disagree with a decision?

If you disagree with a WSCC decision, you may request a review. There are two levels to our appeals process – the Review Committee and the Appeals Tribunal.

The Review Committee

The Review Committee is the first level of appeal. If you disagree with a decision, you may request a review. Click here for more information on Reviews.

The Appeals Tribunal

The Appeals Tribunal is the second and final level of the appeals process. It only hears appeals of decisions made by the Review Committee. Click here for more information on Appeals.

Can my employer and I agree to not file a claim?

No, the law says employers must report workplace incidents to the WSCC, even if you do not lose time from work.

Can I sue my employer?

No, the WSCC pays benefits to workers who suffer workplace injuries and diseases. Legal action is not an option.

What does the WSCC need to know about my gross earnings?

Your rate of compensation depends on your employment situation. If you are a permanent worker, the WSCC needs to know your gross earnings at the time you were hurt. If you are a seasonal or term worker, the WSCC needs to know your gross earnings for the 12 months prior to your injury.

You must produce one or more of the following documents:

1. Pay Stubs;
2. T4’s (Income Tax Statements); or
3. Employer verification of employment periods and gross earnings for the 12-month period. 

When will I receive WSCC compensation payments?

Most people receive their first compensation payment within 25 days of their incident. The WSCC pays from the first day of work you missed because of your injury.  The WSCC does not pay you for the day of the incident.

Does the WSCC deduct taxes from my WSCC compensation payments?

No. You do not pay Income Tax, Canada Pension, or Employment Insurance premiums on your compensation payments. The WSCC sends you a T5007 at tax time and you report your WSCC earnings on your income tax form.

How often do I get paid?

You get paid every two weeks. If your employer pays you while you cannot work, the WSCC sends your compensation benefits to your employer, not you. 

How long will I get WSCC compensation payments?

How long a worker receives compensation payments varies from case-to-case. The WSCC uses medical reports from a doctor, nurse, or other specialist to determine entitlement to ongoing compensation benefits.

How do I get paid?

The WSCC offers three payment options:

  1. By cheque, mailed every two weeks;
  2. By cheque, for pick-up at our Yellowknife office; or
  3. By direct deposit into your bank account.

If you choose the direct deposit option, you must submit an encoded personalized cheque marked VOID, or your bank can complete a preauthorization form. Your branch can submit the completed preauthorization form to the WSCC. For auditing purposes, you must send an original cheque to our office for subsequent deposits.

For direct deposits, the initial transaction takes two business days for you to receive the payment into your account. The WSCC prefers this method of payment for all injured workers. 

If I’m under 18, am I eligible for WSCC compensation payments?

Yes. If you are under 18 years of age, injured at work, and we accept your claim, the WSCC pays you directly, or can send your payments to your parent or guardian.

Can I work while I get WSCC payments?

Maybe. You must talk to your WSCC Adjudicator or Case Manager if you are working or planning to work. 

Can my employer use my sick leave while I get better?

Yes and No.  Although you may use sick leave while you’re waiting for the WSCC’s decision on your claim, employee can choose to continue to use their sick leave if employer approves and the WSCC assigns their benefits to their employer.

Do I get compensation payments for an industrial disease?

Yes. You must show the industrial disease resulted from your work. 

Am I eligible for compensation benefits if I get hurt working outside of the Northwest Territories or Nunavut?


If you’re working for a company operating in the Northwest Territories or Nunavut and they send you to work outside of either territory for a period less than six months, you can apply for compensation benefits.

Depending on the territory or province where the incident takes place, you can choose to claim compensation under that territory or province, or in the Northwest Territories or Nunavut. This is called the Right of Election. 

Can I visit a different country if I am getting compensation payments?

Yes, but you must advise the WSCC. We decide if we can continue your compensation payments while you are away from Canada.

If the WSCC asks me to do something, like go to the doctor, do I get paid?

Yes. You receive pay for time away from work, and any related expenses, such as travel.

What other costs does the WSCC pay?

If related to a worker’s injury, the WSCC may pay for hospital expenses, health care costs, prescriptions, rehabilitation, dental treatment, mobility aids, and eyeglasses. In addition, we may provide clothing, transportation, and living allowances.

Are WSCC benefits taxable?

Benefits are not taxable in Canada, and employers should not report them on a worker’s annual T4 statement of earnings. Benefits are included in the total income for some calculations. We issue T5007 information slips that workers include in their tax returns. Any amount that the WSCC reimburses you for worker benefits, must be deducted from their T4 amounts.