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Types of compensation under WICA

The Work Injury Compensation Act lets employees claim for medical leave wages, medical expenses and lump sum compensation for permanent incapacity, if any, or death. There are limits to each type of compensation.

What you can claim

If you are covered by the Work Injury Compensation Act (WICA), you can claim for the following types of compensation benefits:

  • Medical leave wages for days you were issued with medical leave or light duty, due to the work injury or disease.
  • Medical expenses, including your hospital bills, medication and other charges, due to the work injury.
  • Lump sum compensation for permanent incapacity, current incapacity or death.

Non-permanent work injuries refers to an injured employee being temporarily unable to perform work and earn their usual wages after being placed on medical leave.

Compensation for such work injuries consists of:

  • Medical leave wages for working days covered by doctor-granted MC, light duty or hospitalisation leave, up to one year from the date of the accident.
  • Medical expenses related to work accident for medical treatment received within one year from the date of the accident, or up to a maximum of $45,000, whichever is reached first.

Medical leave wages

Medical leave wages are payable only for working days covered by MC, hospitalisation leave or light duty granted by Singapore-registered doctor or dentist. It is not payable for non-working days (e.g. rest days and public holidays).

Medical leave wages are compensation and not income. Compensation is not taxable, and both employers and employees don't need to contribute to CPF.

For light duties, medical leave wages refers to any shortfall between the actual wages and the average monthly earnings (AME). Employers and employees should still contribute CPF, for the actual wages paid while on light duties.

WICA entitles you to medical leave wages according to the following rates and limits.

For hospitalisation leave

Days Employee gets Employer pays
Up to 60 days Full AME Full AME
61st day to 1 year of accident 2/3 AME 2/3 AME

For outpatient MC or light duties

Days Employee gets Employer pays
Up to 14 days

Full AME

For light duties: Full AME or actual wages, whichever is higher

For MC: Full AME

For light duties: Employee’s actual wages + any shortfall

Shortfall = AME − actual wages for that period

15th day to 1 year of accident

2/3 AME

For light duties: 2/3 AME or actual wages, whichever is higher

For MC: 2/3 AME

For light duties: Employee’s actual wages + any shortfall

Shortfall = 2/3 AME − actual wages for that period

Use the light duty calculator to find out your wages during light duties.

For light duty wages, if AME is higher than actual wages, employers can claim the difference from their insurers.

Injured worker takes Injured worker should be paid

10 days outpatient medical leave

+

71 days hospitalisation leave

10 days outpatient medical leave: Full AME

First 60 days hospitalisation leave: Full AME

Remaining 11 days hospitalisation leave: 2/3 of AME

5 days outpatient leave

+

15 days light duties

5 days outpatient leave: Full AME

9 days light duties: Full AME

Remaining 6 days light duties: 2/3 AME

If you are given light duties, you must return to work for light duties or take leave. If you are absent from work without leave, you won't be able to get compensation under WICA.

Don’t work for employer anymore

If you no longer work for your employer, you are still entitled to medical leave wages while on MC, light duties, or hospitalisation leave for the work injury.

How it’s calculated

Medical leave wages are calculated based on your average monthly earnings (AME). This may be different from your gross monthly salary.

AME is computed based on your earnings over the past 12 months before the accident date.

Generally, it includes overtime pay and bonuses, but excludes transport allowances and reimbursements.

Calculate your AME

When to pay

Medical leave wages must be paid by your employer by your next pay day.

Calculate your medical leave wages

Medical expenses

Your employer will be required to pay for medical expenses related to a work accident up to the maximum limit, which is $45,000 or 1 year from the date of the accident, whichever comes first.

Examples of eligible medical expenses include:

  • Medical consultation fees
  • Ward charges
  • Treatment fees
  • Medical report fees
  • Emergency medical transport charges (e.g. ambulance)
  • Cost of medicine
  • Artificial limbs
  • Surgical appliances
  • Treatments that facilitate early return to work, claimable charges include those for case management, functional capacity evaluation and worksite assessment
  • Dental charges

You can claim these medical expenses only if your treatment is prescribed and billed by a Singapore-registered doctor or dentist:

  • Physiotherapy
  • Occupational therapy
  • Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Singapore-registered medical doctors are medical practitioners registered under the Medical Registration Act (Cap 174).

For accidents from 1 September 2020, employers must compensate for any medical treatment and leave issued by dentists registered under the Dental Registration Act.

Lump sum compensation

If you are covered by WICA, you or your family can claim a lump sum in the event of permanent incapacity, current incapacity or death.

Permanent incapacity and current incapacity

When a claim is payable When an injury or illness has a permanent effect on an employee's ability to work
Who receives the compensation Injured employee
How compensation is calculated

Amount payable = Employee’s average monthly earnings × age multiplying factor × % permanent incapacity

Estimate compensation for permanent incapacity

Changes to compensation limits

  Accidents before 1 Jan 2020 Accidents from 1 Jan 2020
Minimum compensation $88,000 × (% permanent incapacity) $97,000 × (% permanent incapacity)
Maximum compensation $262,000 × (% permanent incapacity) $289,000 × (% permanent incapacity)
  • If the doctor or dentist awards 100% PI, an additional 25% will be added on top of the compensation amount.
  • A notice of assessment (NOA) will be issued to notify all parties involved of the lump sum compensation.
  • The insurer must pay the employee within 21 days from the date of service on the NOA.

Permanent incapacity vs current incapacity

Permanent incapacity (% PI) is based on a doctor’s assessment after the medical condition has stabilised. It is based on the assessment guide on traumatic injuries and occupational diseases for WIC.

As most injuries stabilise within 6 months from the date of accident, compensation may be based on the extent of incapacity at the 6-month mark. This is known as current incapacity.

Death

When a claim is payable When an injury causes death
Who receives the compensation Family or dependants of deceased employee
How compensation is calculated

Amount payable = Employee’s average monthly earnings × age multiplying factor

Estimate compensation for death

Changes to compensation limits

Accidents before 1 Jan 2020 Accidents from 1 Jan 2020
Minimum compensation $69,000 $76,000
Maximum compensation $204,000 $225,000