Diverting Compensation Benefits Policy 21-219 | Effective Date: March 19, 2014

Purpose 

The purpose of this policy is to communicate WorkSafeNB’s guidelines for diverting compensation benefits to another individual or agency. 

Scope 

This policy applies to injured workers, surviving spouses and dependants whose benefits are to be diverted. 

Statements 

1.0 General 

When entitled, WorkSafeNB pays compensation benefits directly to injured workers, surviving spouses and/or dependants. 

However, WorkSafeNB may divert payments, in whole or in part, when:

  • The injured worker, surviving spouse, or dependant authorizes the assignment in writing;
  • There is a court order;
  • Required under other legislation;
  • The injured worker becomes incarcerated; or
  • A trustee is appointed.

2.0 Written Authorization 

An injured worker, surviving spouse, or dependant may request WorkSafeNB to divert all, or part of, the loss of earnings benefits to another individual. 

Upon written request or consent of the worker, surviving spouse, or dependant, WorkSafeNB diverts benefits for repayment of debts to other provincial and/or federal government agencies, for example, repayment of social assistance. 

3.0 Court Orders 

When ordered by the courts, WorkSafeNB is required to divert compensation payments, in whole or in part, to the parties involved in the court order. 

WorkSafeNB notifies the injured worker, surviving spouse, or dependant, verbally and in writing before diverting the benefits. 

4.0 Requirement Under Other Legislation 

WorkSafeNB diverts injured workers’, surviving spouses’, or dependants’ benefits to another organization when requested to do so under other legislation. For example, when a requirement to pay under legislation administered by the government department responsible for taxation is received, WorkSafeNB pays the benefits directly to the department as prescribed in the order.

5.0 Incarceration 

When an injured worker becomes incarcerated, WorkSafeNB uses Policy 21-214 Determining Continued Eligibility for Loss of Earnings Benefits to determine if the injured worker remains entitled to compensation benefits. 

WorkSafeNB may divert an incarcerated injured worker’s loss of earnings benefits, for the period of entitlement, to a spouse or a dependant, to maintain the same level of support provided before the incarceration.  

WorkSafeNB communicates the decision to the injured worker, verbally and in writing, before payments are diverted, or suspended. 

6.0 Trustees 

WorkSafeNB diverts benefits when directed by an authorized representative such as a trustee or an individual granted power of attorney. 

However, if there is no trustee and the injured worker, surviving spouse, or dependant is incapable of managing the payments, or the benefit recipient is a minor, WorkSafeNB may divert benefits to any individual it determines best qualified to administer the payments. The individual need not be a legal guardian or family member.  

To determine who is best suited to manage the benefit payments, WorkSafeNB may consider the following:

  • Who provides daily care?
  • Who is responsible for obtaining required services?
  • Who is responsible for managing financial affairs, such as rent or mortgage payments, loan payments, and other banking?

6.1 Office of the Public Trustee

Under section 45 of the Workers’ Compensation Act, WorkSafeNB may appoint the Office of the Public Trustee as a person best qualified to have benefit payments made to it on behalf of an incompetent injured worker, dependent spouse, child or other dependant provided a court order is obtained.

Appeals Tribunal – means the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Tribunal established under the WHSCC & WCAT Act. 

Court order – written direction of a court or judge or a demand pursuant to an agency’s legislative authority requiring benefit payments to be made to a spouse and/or dependant or agency. 

Dependant – members of the family of a worker who were wholly or partly dependent upon his earnings at the time of his death, or who, but for the incapacity due to the accident would have been so dependent (WC Act). 

Divert – redirecting the payment of benefits from the injured worker, surviving spouse, or dependant to another individual, organization, or agency. 

Member of the family – for the purpose of paying compensation or benefits to a dependant, includes spouse, father, mother, grandfather, grandmother, stepfather, stepmother, son, daughter, grandson, granddaughter, stepson, stepdaughter, brother, sister, half-brother and half-sister, and a person who stood in loco parentis whether related to the worker by consanguinity or not so related. (WC Act) 

Trustee – a person or member of a board given control or powers of administration of property in trust with a legal obligation to administer it solely for the purposes specified. 

WorkSafeNB – means the Workplace Health, Safety and Compensation Commission or "the Commission" as defined by the WHSCC & WCAT Act.

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