What is the extent and nature of claim suppression in British Columbia?

Reasons for the study

Claim suppression undermines confidence in the workers' compensation system. For workers who lose out on benefits, claim suppression is plainly unfair. Claim suppression by a small minority of employers confers an unfair competitive advantage and penalizes the vast majority of employers that fulfil their legal responsibilities. Claim suppression also distorts experience rating by corroding the empirical basis for rate determination. It is therefore important to the integrity of a public compensation system that claim suppression be identified and curtailed.

There are, however, no data on the incidence of claim suppression in British Columbia, nor are there data to guide enforcement measures. This project, a collaboration between the Institute for Work & Health and Prism Economics and Analysis, addressed this gap.

Objectives of the study

  • Estimate the nature and approximate extent of claim suppression in the B.C. workers’ compensation system 

Anticipated results/impact

The results of the research may be useful to WorkSafeBC in determining whether any policy changes may be warranted regarding claim suppression, and they will also be of interest to stakeholders involved in workers’ compensation issues in British Columbia and beyond, including employers, employer associations, unions and injured workers groups.

Related scientific publications

Related interviews and articles

Related research summaries

Project status

Completed 2021

Research team

  • Ron Saunders, Institute for Work & Health (PI)
  • John O'Grady, Prism Economics and Analysis
  • Cameron Mustard, Institute for Work & Health

Participating organizations

Prism Economics and Analysis

Funded by

WorkSafeBC