Worker’s Compensation Board

Chiropractic Treatment is covered by the Worker’s Compensation Board (WCB) of Nova Scotia.

If you experience a sprain or strain injury at work, Chiropractic gives you more timely access to health care services. You can go directly to a chiropractor for an assessment.

You can choose to see your family doctor, but your assessment with the chiropractor should not be delayed because you are waiting for an appointment with your family doctor. The priority is early assessment – to assess your injury and your capacity for returning to work in a safe and timely manner. Your chiropractor will share the results of your assessment with your family doctor. Once the injury has been assessed, the chiropractor will determine if chiropractic treatment is necessary.

How it Works

Your employer or WCB case worker will send you to an approved chiropractor for an assessment. You can expect this assessment to occur within three days of your injury. Ideally, it will happen on the same day.

At the clinic, a chiropractor performs what’s called a physical abilities assessment. This is a series of activities that allows the chiropractor to find out what job tasks – lifting, carrying, walking, etc. – you can safely perform.

Your chiropractor will not ask you to do anything unsafe. The focus of this evaluation is to assess the injury and determine your capacity for returning to work, either to your regular job or to transitional duties. Your chiropractor will tell you about your injury, diagnosis and, if required, a treatment plan. They will also help you understand what to expect during treatment. If what you can safely do matches the demands of your work, you can return to your regular job right away. If you are unable to return to your regular job right away, your chiropractor, working together with you, your employer, your doctor and the WCB case worker, will determine your return-to-work plan, including treatment and what transitional duties, if any, can be provided.

If your chiropractor suspects the injury is more serious than a sprain or strain, you will be sent to your family doctor.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a physical abilities assessment? Will it hurt?

A physical abilities assessment is a series of activities to find out what job tasks you can safely perform. After completing this assessment, you may feel tired, and you may even experience some pain or discomfort. This is not unusual, and is a typical response to the evaluation. If you experience pain following the assessment that is worse than you expected, let your chiropractor know.

What is my doctor’s role within chiropractic treatment?

That’s up to you. You may choose to see your family doctor. But, your physical abilities assessment should not be delayed because you are waiting for an appointment. Your family doctor plays an important role and support in your long-term health care, so do keep him/her informed of your condition and any prescribed chiropractic treatment. Your chiropractor will also send your assessment and any progress updates to your family doctor.

What if my family physician and chiropractor disagree with the diagnosis or treatment plan? 

Every situation is different. Contact your WCB case worker if there is any disagreement or if you have any questions of concerns.

What if my employer tells me I have to go see a chiropractor of their choosing? 

Your employer may establish a working relationship with a WCB-approved chiropractor and encourage you to go there. This chiropractor will be familiar with your return to work program and workplace. You do, however, have the right to attend an approved chiropractic clinic of your choosing.

Why do I have to see a chiropractor approved by the WCB? 

The chiropractors approved by the WCB are knowledgeable on the workers’ compensation system, including the claims process and related forms. They are required by the WCB to assess your injury within three days.

Who determines my return-to-work plan? 

Your chiropractor, employer and WCB case worker will work together with you to determine your return-to-work plan. Your family doctor may also provide input.

What if I don’t agree with the recommended return-to-work plan because of safety issues at my place of work?

Speak to your WCB case worker immediately.

What are transitional duties?

Transitional duties are duties you can safely perform as you recover. They are as close to your regular work as possible. They may include the modification of some of your regular work duties, the elimination of some duties, some new duties, or a combination of your regular work and any of these transitional duties.

Worker’s Need-to-Know Checklist

  • Notify employer of your injury right away.
  • Ask your employer to fill out the first two sections of the WCB form (Chiropractor Intake Report – Form A) and send it to the chiropractor, or take it with you to the clinic. Your employer will also report the injury to the WCB.
  • Have an assessment by an approved chiropractor. The chiropractor will talk to you about what you can expect during the assessment. They will also ask you to complete a consent form, to share reports with your employer. Ask any questions you want to during the assessment.
  • The chiropractor will call your employer for any additional information required, including your job description, the functional demands of your work, as well as any transitional duties available at your workplace. If required, participate in chiropractic treatment.
  • See your doctor if your condition changes significantly, or at the recommendation of your chiropractor or WCB case worker.
  • Keep in touch with your employer and WCB case worker during your return-to-work plan.
  • Talk to your WCB case worker about any questions or concerns.