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Workers Compensation FAQs

The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) was established to protect employee rights in the event of an on-the-job injury or occupational disease. Workers’ compensation is offered through a no-fault system, but that does not guarantee you will receive the full benefits to which you are entitled.

Your own actions can positively or negatively impact your ability to collect owed benefits. Below are the recommended first steps after a workplace accident or injury in Ontario.

If you have become injured or ill as a result of your working environment or job and need to file a claim with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (otherwise known as the WSIB), we at Goodman Elbassiouni LLP know that you might have a lot of questions – it’s perfectly natural and understandable. Most of the clients we meet who are in your shoes are just as confused and overwhelmed as you likely are. It’s bad enough to have to suffer through the ordeal of getting injured at work; however, we know that dealing with the WSIB and its bureaucracy can be a nightmare in and of itself as well.

For these reasons and more, we have decided our final blog posts on the ins-ands-outs of the WSIB should be about the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) we generally hear. We’ve already answered the main ones: what to do if you are injured at work, what the WSIB is, how to make claim, and how to file an appeal, but we often hear other important questions that we would also like to address.

Here are some of the more common FAQs we encounter:

Pursue medical attention if your accident injuries prevent you from being able to return to work. Your employer should provide and/or pay for transportation if your injuries require such accommodation. Seek assistance from a hospital or clinic if your own doctor is not immediately available.

Bear in mind some injuries, such as a concussion or herniated disc, may not be immediately evident. Proper follow-up care ensures you do not overlook a potentially debilitating injury.
Notify your manager or supervisor of the accident and injury. Your employer is responsible for completing the WSIB forms necessary to initiate your claim for benefits.
Note: your employer is required to report your injury within three days if you:

Ensure your supervisor knows where and when the accident occurred and the nature of the incident.
Your doctor is responsible for providing a doctor’s report to the WSIB. It is essential that your care providers accurately describe your injuries, diagnosis and treatment. Provide details about how your accident occurred and any symptoms you are experiencing.
You also should preserve and document your injuries for your own records. This includes
such evidence of your accident as:

This information may be critical in the event your claim for workers’ compensation benefits is undervalued or denied.
You have the right to consult with a WSIB lawyer after a workplace injury or illness in Ontario. While you are not obligated to hire a lawyer, doing so increases your chances of fair treatment, timely processing of your claim and just compensation for your injury and future losses.

A lawyer examines the details of your case to determine all available WSIB benefits and other potential compensation. A lawyer is also particularly valuable in the event of denial of benefits as he or she can assist you with filing an appeal and preparing for your hearing.
You can show good faith by cooperating with the following parties and in the following ways:

There's No Cost or Obligation to Have Your Case Evaluated Ready to take advantage of our free case evaluations? Call 905-265-1005 to schedule a no-cost, obligation-free consultation with our Ontario legal team.
Yes. If you become injured at work, but only need basic first aid treatment like: a small bandage, ice being applied to your injury, or an over-the-counter cream for your injury and you do not need to miss work, then you do not need to report your injury to the WSIB or file a claim.
You, your lawyer, and your employer do. The WSIB is very open about the information in your claim report to the parties involved. You can receive a copy of your file by sending them a letter requesting it – your lawyer should be able to walk you through this process if needed. If you would prefer your lawyer to receive a copy on their own, they simply need your written authorization to access it for you. Your employer can also request a copy of the claim if you choose to appeal their decision, or if your employer chooses to challenge a WSIB ruling.
No. The law requires you to cooperate with the WSIB in order for them to rule in your case; however, you should confer with your lawyer to ensure you represent yourself in the best manner possible and improve your chances of a favourable ruling.
Yes. Many independent operators, particularly in the construction fields, are required to register with the WSIA, and as a result are entitled to benefits from the WSIB should they become injured or ill as a result of their profession. If you have WSIB insurance, you are no exception!

We hope that this blog post has been of use to you or your loved one, and we look forward to sharing more of our FAQs in our next blog post!

Hello and welcome back to our blog! In continuation with our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) series regarding the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), here are a few more questions we tend to encounter often here at Goodman Elbassiouni LLP pertaining to the benefits our clients may receive from the WSIB.
Absolutely! We cover this briefly in some of our earlier blog posts, but we want to reiterate this point in a little more detail here since it is one of our more common FAQs. Some workplace injuries occur quickly in the form of a specific event that hurt a worker: for instance, a fall from a ladder, or an object being dropped on them. However, this is not the case for all work-related injuries or illnesses. Some workplace injuries, illnesses, or diseases occur much more slowly over repeated interaction with harmful chemicals or after completing the same, repetitive task over and over for your job. For instance, carpal tunnel syndrome and asbestosis are examples of health problems that may occur as a result of your occupation. As soon as your doctor informs you that your health concerns are a result of your job, contact us and we can start your claim with the WSIB to begin receiving benefits.
No, unfortunately you do need to wait for a ruling from the WSIB before you can begin receiving benefits from them; however, there are other options that you may qualify for while you wait. For instance, you may be able to receive sick pay from your employer on a short-term basis, or you might also qualify for benefits from Ontario Social Assistance, your personal insurance company, or Service Canada for EI sickness benefits. Just bear in mind that some of these options may require you to pay them back once you begin to receive benefits from the WSIB.
No. Unfortunately you can’t forget about the WSIB altogether after you begin to receive benefits from them. You do still need to notify them of any “material change in circumstances” that may occur in your life. In other words, if the number of dependents under your care, your work status, income, medical status, or ability to participate or work with certain programs changes, then you should notify the WSIB. For more information on this topic, check out the WSIB’s Material Change in Circumstances website.
Yes. You should be respectful and keep the lines of communication open with your employer at all times during this process. If you refuse to take calls from your employer, the WSIB might rule that you aren’t cooperating with the process and choose to end your benefits. However, if you feel as though your employer is harassing you, then you should contact the WSIB and let them know.
Possibly. If you worked for your employer for at least 12 continuous months prior to your workplace injury or illness, and your employer consistently has 20 or more employees under their employ, then they have a legal obligation to re-employ you. This obligation lasts until the earliest of the following occurs: you turn 65, it has been one year since the WSIB told you that you could return to work, or it has been two years after your initial injury. However, if you work seasonally, through a temp agency, or are a contract worker or trainee, then you are not guaranteed your job once your condition improves.
Quite possibly. If you fit the criteria for re-employment with your employer, but are no longer able to complete the same work duties, your boss must offer you the first suitable opening that comes up to meet your current functional abilities. In addition to being able to complete the work, for a position to be considered suitable it must also be safe, productive, and of a similar income to your previous position. The hours or days of the week that you work may change under this agreement, and you should be prepared for that. If you feel that the position they are offering you is NOT safe or suitable, then you can refuse the work, but you should also contact the WSIB immediately to inform them of your concerns.

If your employer does not have any suitable work for you, then you may need to undergo a work transition assessment to identify other suitable occupations open to you, and potentially begin training for a new career. The WSIB and your employer will need to work together to help find you a new job.

If you are still uncertain about any aspects of the WSIB process, please do not hesitate to contact us at our offices – we are only a well-placed email or phone call away!
If you get injured or develop an illness at work, you should:

  • Get medical help immediately by visiting the employer’s first aid department or seeing your physician

  • Report the injury or illness to your employer

  • Report your injury or illness to WSIB

  • Work together with WSIB and workplace parties

In most cases, Ontario employees cannot sue for damages if they are injured at work.
WSIB pays loss of earning benefits which is calculated at 85% of your deemed net pay based on your earnings four weeks prior to your injury.
If you receive benefits from WSIB, the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) requires you to report your WSIB benefits as income, but you do not pay income tax on WSIB benefits.
In every case, the WSIB determines if the injury arose out of and in the course of employment. If proof of injury is established, you will be entitled to loss of earnings even if your employer paid you in cash.
Yes, you can dispute or object to a WSIB decision. Generally you have up to 6 months to object to any WSIB decision and 30 days to object to a WSIB decision about return to-work or work transition issues, including re-employment decisions.
The WSIB will work with all workplace parties to assist in having you return to work (even in a different job) either with the accident employer or in the open labour market. If there is a wage loss, the WSIB will cover the difference however a worker must cooperate with WSIB in return-to-work services.
Your loss of earnings benefit start the day after your injury or illness or, when you begin to miss time from work. Your employer is responsible for paying your wages for your full shift for the day of your injury and/or illness.

Your loss-of-earnings benefit will continue until:

  • your work-related injury or illness no longer affects your ability to
    return to your pre-injury work; or

  • you are no longer losing pay; or

  • the day you reach 65 years old if you were less than 63-years-old the day of your injury; or

  • two years after the date of your injury if you were 63 years old or older the day of your injury.

Your employer may try to talk you out of making a claim for WSIB and you may think it would be easier to take wages or sick pay instead of making a claim. However, if you are eligible for WSIB benefits, it is important to make a claim and generally you have 6 months to do so.

The WSIB cover loss of wages and health care costs for as long as the disability lasts. In addition, the WSIB may award a permanent impairment award if you do not fully recover and they will assist you to return to modified employment with your employer or elsewhere in the labour market if you cannot return to your pre-accident work.
Employers must send an Employer's Report of Injury/Disease (Form 7) to the WSIB within three business days of the worker reporting the injury. Failure to do so, may result in penalties for the employer for not submitting this form in a timely manner.

Workers complete an Employee’s Report of Accident (Form 6) and submit it to WSIB. This provides an employee the opportunity to outline the circumstances and details of their injury or illness.