WorkSafeNB has authority under ss.40(1) of the Workers’ Compensation Act to determine how compensation benefits are paid, either by periodic payment or lump sum. Consistent with this discretion, in some circumstances, WorkSafeNB may advance or payout a worker’s pre-82 or long-term disability benefit.
Advances and payouts apply to pre-82 and long-term disability benefits only. Regular loss of earnings benefits are not advanced nor paid out because of the temporary nature of this benefit.
Compensation payments are intended to provide a regular and reliable source of income for workers who qualify and are similar to and replace employment earnings. An advance or payout would reduce this source of regular future income. However, there may be situations where an advance or payout of the benefit would provide better support than the periodic payment. WorkSafeNB has the discretion to determine if an advance or payout is appropriate taking into account the facts of the case such as:
1. Are there other WorkSafeNB benefits that could help the worker in this situation, e.g., medical aid, quality of life grant, or care allowance?
2. Could the worker obtain a normal consumer loan provided by public financial institutions?
3. Does the benefit of an advance or payout outweigh the risk of not having a regular income to meet day-to-day financial obligations?
4. Is the advance or payout a temporary solution to a chronic situation (e.g., consolidation of debts/loans)?
When deciding to provide an advance or payout, WorkSafeNB attempts to balance the amount required to resolve the situation, while maintaining a regular and reliable source of income for the worker to meet day-to-day financial obligations. Advances and payouts are in lieu of future benefit entitlement.
Advances or payouts do not affect the worker’s entitlement to medical aid benefits. Workers remain entitled to medical aid for the compensable injury as long as necessary.
2.0 Financial Advice
To support a worker in making an informed decision about receiving an advance or payout, WorkSafeNB may offer consultation with a WorkSafeNB approved independent financial advisor.
When an independent financial advisor is consulted, WorkSafeNB pays a rate, up to a maximum of $500, for all services provided by the advisor.
The Vice President of WorkSafe Services is responsible for establishing the authorization levels for approving advances or payouts.
Advance – payment of a specific lump sum of money applied against, and in recognition of, future benefit entitlement.
Appeals Tribunal – means the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal established under the WHSCC & WCAT Act.
Financial advisor – an individual, with a recognized designation or certification in accounting or finance, who provides advice on financial matters: e.g., officer of a bank, investment councillor, accountant etc.
Payout – payment of a specific lump sum of money representing the present day value of the established benefit reserve.
WorkSafeNB – means the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission or "the Commission" as defined by the WHSCC & WCAT Act.