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WSIB and COVID-19 in the Workplace

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Many people are not aware that the WSIB will provide coverage to workers who contracted COVID-19 while at work. The WSIB has currently allowed over 5,000 claims for individuals who contracted COVID-19 in the course of their employment.  

Claims allowed – 5,528
Claims not allowed - 1,195
Claims pending – 458
Exposure incident reports received – 3,237

Click here visit the WSIB website for more WSIB claim statistics related to COVID-19.

Filing a claim

ETFO’s advice to members is to file a claim if they feel that they have contracted COVID-19 in the course of their employment.  

ETFO members should:
  1. Notify their employer using the school board’s formal workplace injury reporting system. Keep a copy for their records.
  2. Complete a WSIB Form 6 (also available at etfo.ca/link/wsib) and keep a copy for their records. Members must submit a copy of the WSIB Form 6 to their school board.  
  3. Seek medical attention as soon as possible. Inform their doctor that this is a workplace injury to ensure the WSIB Form 8 is completed. Provide a copy of Form 8, page 2 to their school board and keep a copy for their records.
Contact your local office for support throughout this process.

Adjudication

The WSIB has a dedicated team of adjudicators and nurse consultants working to gather any information required and review each claim so that injured workers can access the benefits and services for which they are entitled.   

Because the WSIB looks at each of these claims on a case-by-case basis, the time to reach a decision will be different in each claim. However, the WSIB states they are contacting injured workers within two to five days of a COVID-19-related claim being filed to gather required exposure, employment, medical and other relevant information to help them make decisions.  

Click here for more information on the WSIB adjudicative approach to COVID-19 or got to (etfo.ca/link/wsib) for a copy.

Currently, the WSIB has set out the following criteria for COVID-19-related claims:
  1. The worker must have a confirmed case of COVID-19; and,
  2. The nature of the worker’s employment created a risk of contracting the disease to which the public is not normally exposed.
In assessing the latter criteria, the WSIB will consider the worker’s job duties, work environment, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). The WSIB will also consider whether a contact source within the workplace has been identified, whether the worker’s place of employment has put them at a greater risk for exposure, and whether there was an opportunity for transmission in the workplace. Even if someone else in the same building contracted COVID-19, the worker would still need to demonstrate that there was plausible transmission.  

Exposure

Workers who have been exposed to COVID-19 but have not been diagnosed and are not symptomatic will not receive coverage through the WSIB. These workers are encouraged to complete a WSIB Exposure Incident Form (also available at etfo.ca/link/wsib). If COVID-19 illness develops, the WSIB will be able to process a claim faster if the exposure form had already been filed.