When an employee in Ontario suffers a work-related injury or illness, they may have many questions. Aside from recovering, they will also have to focus on the legal side of their situation to receive the compensation and benefits they rightfully deserve.
This is why the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board (WSIB) was created: to protect Ontario workers in the workplace and to help if they suffer an injury. Most Ontario-based companies are required by law to offer their employees workplace insurance coverage.
Our WSIB lawyers in Mississauga want to help you understand your benefits, responsibilities, and services. This way you are well informed about how to file a claim and what may or may not be included. Here are some frequently asked questions and their answers.
FAQ on Ontario’s Workplace Safety and Insurance Board
The WSIB is a no-fault insurance system that was put into place to protect employer and employee rights. Here, we answer common questions about it.
1. What is the purpose of the WSIB?
The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board’s system:
- Promotes the health and safety of everyone in workplaces to reduce and prevent workplace injuries and occupational diseases.
- Provides benefits and compensation to workers and the survivors of deceased workers.
- Facilitates work transition services for employees.
- Enables patients to work and recover from their injuries and occupational diseases.
Employers generally pay their employees’ premiums and aren’t allowed to withhold or deduct their wages.
2. What health care benefits are covered?
When an injured employee files a claim and has it approved, they will receive the following services and benefits. Plus, you may also have health care even if you didn’t need to miss any work due to your injuries or occupational disease.
The WSIB is your best bet to recover after suffering a work-related illness or injury and can pay for approved health care costs related to a claim. Even if the employee has insurance, they will receive the following benefits depending on the severity and nature of their condition:
- Prescription drugs
- Hospitalization (including surgery and emergency care)
- Orthotics or prosthetics
- Treatment from a dentist or doctor, among other health care professionals
- Reasonable accommodation and travel expenses
- Attendants or other measures that severely impaired victims living independently require
Most treatments (and travel related to it) need to be pre-approved by the WSIB. They may also pay the health care provider directly. Even if you are making a claim for psychological trauma, they will pay to support your recovery and return to work.
3. Does WSIB cover all workers?
The WSIB offers coverage to an estimated 70% of all Ontario employers and approximately 4 million workers. This also includes family members who might receive a wage and aren’t registered owners of the business. The employees included can be seasonal, full-time, part-time, paid students, learners or casual workers. In certain instances, sub-contractors may also be covered. However, partners, executive officers, sole owners, and independent operators aren’t automatically covered by the WSIB Act but can apply for optional insurance.
4. When should a workplace accident be reported?
Ideally, employees injured in their workplace should report it as soon as it happens. If the injured employee requires more than health care benefits, they and their employer need to report the injuries to the WSIB. Certain first-aid treatments that don’t need to be reported are:
- Applying over-the-counter creams to injuries.
- Putting on a bandage.
- Applying cold or heat to the injury.
If you inform your employer about your injuries, they need to send an Employer’s Report (Form 7) of disease or injuries to the WSIB within three business days of sustaining it. They need to provide you with a copy too.
5. What are your responsibilities as an injured employee?
To get the financial support and health care you need in a timely manner, there are certain things you must do.
- Report the Illness/Injury to the WSIB: Injured employees are required to fill out Form 6 and send it to the WSIB within six months of sustaining their injuries or being diagnosed with their illness. They may only receive income replacement for up to two weeks for the injury if they fail to fill out the form.
When you complete and sign the form, you are authorizing health care providers to offer information about your functional abilities to your employer and the WSIB.
- Co-operate with Return-to-Work Activities and Planning: As an employee, you need to work with your employer and the WSIB to come up with a plan that allows you to return to work. You must also provide regular updates to your employer about your functional abilities and recovery.
- Provide Proof of the Extent of Injuries: The WSIB will ask you for information on how the workplace illness or injury took place, your health care information, and your return to work status. It’s vital that you share this information so the WSIB can make the right decision about the support you need to recover and claim.
Hopefully, our WSIB lawyers in Mississauga have helped clear up any confusion surrounding WSIB claims in Ontario to help you navigate this complicated process. Contact the WSIB lawyers at Brar Tamber Rigby for advice on what to do if you’re injured at work. You may also book a free consultation to discuss your case with them and find out the best options applicable to your case.