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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. Both employers and employees need not contribute to CPF and they are not taxable.

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

For Your medical leave wages are calculated based on

Outpatient medical (MC) or light duties up to 14 days

OR

Hospitalisation leave up to 60 days

Your full average monthly earnings

Outpatient MC or light duties from 15th day onwards, up to 1 year from accident

OR

Hospitalisation leave from 61st day onwards, up to 1 year from accident

Whichever is higher:

  • 2/3 of your average monthly earnings

    OR
  • Salary paid during light duties

Note: If 2/3 AME is lower than the salary paid during light duties, the employer must not deduct from this salary.

Injured worker takes Medical leave wages

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

+

7 days light duties

5 days outpatient leave: Full AME

7 days light duties: AME − salary paid during light duties

How it’s calculated

Medical leave wages are calculated based on your average monthly earnings (AME).

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

Generally, it includes overtime pay, 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

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)

These treatments must be provided by professionals registered with the respective healthcare professional council or board:

  • Allied Health Professions Council (AHPC)
  • Traditional Chinese Medical Practitioners Board (TCMPB)

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 stabilises. 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 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