The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board is a provincial agency. WSIB, also known as worker's comp or workers compensation exists to provide support and insurance to workers who are injured on the job. Your place of work may entitle you to a range of benefits. The responsibility to aid in your recovery and return to work rests with both you and your employer.
Not every employee is eligible for WSIB. You may be entitled to benefits if your employer is covered by the WSIB, you have a work-related injury or illness, you or your employer report your injury or illness to the WSIB and your claim is allowed, you provide the WSIB with information they need to make a decision about your benefits, and you agree to share information about your functional abilities with both the WSIB and your employer.
If you are on WSIB, you have to follow the recommendations of your healthcare provider and take part in exams and assessments. If a return-to-work process has been initiated for you, you need to co-operate. You also need to inform WSIB of any significant changes to your condition.
WSIB benefits include benefits for lost pay and to help you recover and return to work. Their benefits are: loss of earnings, benefit for non-economic loss, healthcare benefits, help to return to work, benefit for loss of retirement income, services for seriously injured people, services for people with occupational diseases, and survivor benefits.
While it seems like WSIB, at first glance, is beneficial for workers, that may not always be the case. Sometimes, other programs are available that can actually provide greater benefits than the WSIB. Sometimes, you are not able to apply to both WSIB as well as these other programs at the same time. Electing WSIB may disentitle you to other programs that may be more beneficial and can get you more money.
You should always speak to a lawyer as soon as possible to determine whether or not electing WSIB provides you with the greatest benefit.
For example, if you are injured in a car accident while on the job, getting WSIB benefits may take away your right to sue an at-fault driver and may take away your rights to receive accident benefits.
You should find out from a lawyer how WSIB interacts with other programs to maximize your claim and to ensure that you have elected the program that will give you the greatest benefits in the end.
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