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Workers’ Compensation Board Responses to COVID-19

Province

Policies

AB

Private sector employers receive premium relief - 2020 WCB premiums deferred to 2021.

COVID-19 Claim:

  • The nature of employment involves sufficient exposure to the source of infection,-and-
  • The nature of employment is shown to be the cause of the condition, -or-
  • The nature of employment creates a greater risk of exposure for the worker.

Report your injury online.

A claim is likely to be accepted:

  • If a worker contracts the illness and is performing what the province deems to be an “essential service” that puts them in regular contact with the general public.
  • A widespread outbreak at their place of work.

WCB-Alberta must determine whether your exposure to the disease arose out of the course of your employment and was caused by an employment hazard (in this case, workplace exposure to the virus).

A team of people who specialize in the adjudication of infectious disease claims and can appropriately apply policy and legislation. If your illness meets the conditions for coverage, WCB-Alberta will cover medical aid costs and any time lost due to the condition.

BC

Employers’ payment deadline for Q1 2020 until June 30, 2020.

COVID-19 claim:

  • Evidence that the worker has contracted COVID-19, either:
    • a medical diagnosis in a medical report, or
    • non-medical factual evidence where other evidence establishes the existence of COVID-19.
  • The nature of the worker’s employment created a risk of contracting the disease significantly greater than the ordinary exposure risk of the public at large.
  • Work time lost after contracting the virus

How workers report a workplace injury or disease.

WorkSafeBC does not cover people for a quarantine or self-isolation period.

MB

WCB will assist employers by:

  • deferring premium payments until the end of May
  • waiving late payment penalties until further notice
  • extending the payroll reporting deadline without penalties until the end of May
  • Ensuring that coverage remains active for accounts that choose to defer payments until the end of May. Clearances will remain in good standing.

COVID-19 Claim:

  • Work-related injuries and illnesses, including in some cases COVID-19, have always been and continue to be covered by the WCB and determined on a case-by-case basis.
  • If you believe you contracted the virus while at work, you should let your employer know and complete a Notice of Injury form. 
  • If you have missed time from work or attended medical treatment, you may file a claimwith WCB to determine if you are eligible for benefits. 
  • To determine the work-relatedness of COVID-19 claims, the WCB looks at details such as

your employment activities, your symptoms and whether you have a diagnosis of COVID-19.

NB

Assessment premiums related to employer payrolls for February, March and April will be deferred for three months without interest charges.

COVID-19 Claim:

Workers’ compensation is available for a work-related injury or illness and is not provided for workers who withdraw from work for preventive reasons.

Claims submitted for a COVID-19 virus infection contracted through a work-related exposure are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.

  • evidence must show that the infection arose out of and in the course of employment and
  • the risk of contracting the disease through the employment is greater than the risk associated with contracting it through day-to-day living. 

Learn more about the application of benefits or how to complete a Form 67.

NL

Employer assessment payments deferred until June 30, 2020

Workers with an Existing Claim:

  • all wage-loss benefits associated with an active work-related injury claim
  • medical appointments that do go ahead, as well as prescription medications

NS

Employers premium payments deferred for three months; interest and late payment fees waived until further notice 

COVID-19 Claim:

  • will be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.
  • Demonstrate workplace exposure, or as part of the employment activities

As set out in the Workers’ Compensation Act, compensation is only available for a work-related injury or illness.

It is not provided for workers who cannot work for preventative or precautionary reasons, such as a quarantine situation.

NT and

NU

WSCC has suspended late payment interest charges and further extended the assessment payment deadline to August 1, 2020.

Report an Injury

If you suffer a workplace injury that requires medical aid, you must report the injury to your Employer and the WSCC.

ON

Employers premium reporting and paymentsdeferred until August 31,2020

Stakeholder time limits suspended by:

  • six-month time limit after an injury or illness to file a claim for benefits
  • six-month time limit to file a claim for benefits following a WSIAT decision
  • 30-day time limit for objecting to a return-to-work decision
  • six-month time limit for objecting to any other decisions related to a WSIB claim or account

The suspension applies to any time limits that expired on or after March 16, 2020 and will remain in effect until further notice.

Procedural time limits

  • expect employers and injured or ill people to make all reasonable efforts to meet the normal procedural timelines, unless they are prevented from doing so due to the state of emergency. Examples of such situations might include an employer needing to focus on setting up their staff to work remotely, or a small employer themselves being struck by the virus.

In such cases, decision makers will use their discretion to reasonably extend the following timelines:

  • three-day time limit for an employer to notify the WSIB of an injury or illness
  • 10-day deadline for an employer or an injured or ill person to report a material change in circumstances
  • three-month time period to make an out-of-province or third-party election

COVID-19 claim:

While the nature of some people’s work may put them at greater risk of contracting the virus, for example those treating someone with COVID-19, any claims received by the WSIB will need to be adjudicated on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the facts and circumstances. 

  • If you contracted COVID-19 while at work (you have a diagnosis or symptoms of COVID-19), you may file a claim to determine if you are eligible for WSIB coverage. 
  • If you believe you were exposed to COVID-19 while at work, but you are not ill at this time (you do not have a diagnosis or symptoms of COVID-19), please do not file a claim. Instead, you can file an exposure incident form through our Program for Exposure Incident Reporting (PEIR) or Construction Exposure Incident Reporting (CEIR) programs. These are voluntary reporting programs and you will be assigned an incident number. If you become ill in the future, we'll be able to process your claim faster. 

PE

Employers assessment payments deferred until June 30, 2020

COVID-19 Claim:

  • There is medical confirmation that the worker has COVID-19.
  • The worker has been exposed to COVID-19 at work.
  • The exposure is confirmed to be work-related, that is, it arose out of and in the course of their employment.

You should report it to the WCB to determine if they are eligible for compensation benefits.

The WCB adjudicates all claims on a case-by-case basis, including those related to COVID-19. The WCB will be in contact with the worker and their employer about the claim. 

QC

COVID-19 Claims:

Workers who become infected with COVID-19 during the course of their employment may be entitled to the usual benefits and services provided under the Act respecting industrial accidents and occupational diseases (AIAOD).

The worker must:

  • see a physician or, exceptionally, a nurse who will make the diagnosis,
  •  notify the employer and complete the worker’s claim so it can be submitted to the CNESST.
  • demonstrate that they came into contact with the virus through or in the course of their work.
  • demonstrate the work connection in a conclusive manner.

The CNESST’s decision will take into account the specifics of each claim.

A worker seeking compensation for an industrial accident must fill out the Worker’s Claim form and send it to the CNESST.

Exceptionally, the CNESST will accept a medical certificate confirming a COVID-19 diagnosis issued by a nurse and accompanied by the analysis results.

The CNESST encourages workers to make their claims online at My CNESST Space.

SK

COVID-19 Claim:

  • There is confirmed exposure to the disease in the workplace  PLUS
  • The time period that the illness is contracted is in close proximity to the confirmed workplace exposure   PLUS
  • The nature of employment creates a greater risk of exposure for the worker than to the general population

If you believe you contracted COVID-19 from a co-worker, file a claim.

However as COVID-19 can be transmitted through contact in the community, workplace or home, non-workplace exposures would need to be assessed and ruled-out.

If you are sent home to avoid getting sick, do not file a claim.

  • A claim can only be accepted for those that contract COVID-19 because of their employment. 

If you are exposed to someone suspected or diagnosed with COVID-19 at work, it may be considered a workplace injury.

  • Each claim is adjudicated under it’s own merits. 
  • WCB may consider claims for individuals that are employed in an industry where they are at more risk of exposure than the general public is (such as nursing):
  • when there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace, and
  •  a worker develops symptoms in a timeline consistent with the exposure in the workplace.

YT

COVID-19 Diagnosis:

When you contract COVID-19 as a direct result of your employment, you are entitled to compensation if the following conditions are met:

  • There is a causal connection between the conditions of the work required to be performed and the resulting injury.
  • The injury is linked to your employment in terms of time, place and activity consistent with the obligations and expectations of that employment.

Here’s a work-related example of a situation where a worker would likely be covered:

  • An acute care hospital worker has patients coming in for treatment of COVID-19. They are at a greater risk than the general public of contracting the disease.

Here’s a non-work-related example of a situation where a worker would likely be covered:

  • A hospital cafeteria worker’s job is not directly related to looking after sick people even if workers sometimes come in contact with them, but they may be covered if they contract COVID-19.
  • A grocery store clerk’s job puts them in contact with many people but not specifically with sick people. They may be covered if they contract COVID-19.