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632 Insurance for injured workers
- What is Workplace Safety and Insurance? Most workers in Ontario are covered by the Ontario Government's new insurance plan called Workplace Safety and Insurance, which replaces Worker's Compensation. The new insurance plan is administered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board, which is a government office. It collects on-going contributions from employers, and pays benefits to workers who lose part or all of their salary because of a work-related injury or disease. The Workplace Safety and Insurance Board also assists workers to get back their jobs or to find new work after they have recovered.
- Workplace Safety and Insurance is a "No Fault" system Workplace Safety and Insurance is a no fault system, which means that benefits are provided to the injured employee no matter how the workplace injury or disease was caused. If an employee is entitled to benefits, the system takes away the employee's right to sue the employer. The tradeoff of receiving 'no fault benefits' in exchange for giving up the right to sue, applies in all cases except situations where an employee may sue someone other than the employer for negligence. If the employee has a right to sue someone other than the employer, they may do so or they may choose to receive benefits under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act.
633 Who is eligible for benefits?
To be eligible for benefits, you must be employed by an employer who is covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act. The Act applies to most employers who are grouped in industry sectors and listed in the Act.
- Who is covered by Workplace Safety and Insurance? Most workers in Ontario are covered by Workplace Safety and Insurance. If you are a construction worker, you are covered, but some of the rules that apply to you are different from those of other workers. Employers in industries covered by the Act are obligated to register with the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board. Your benefit entitlement, however, does not depend on whether your employer registers with the Board. Employers who should register with the Board and do not are subject to penalties. For additional information, you can contact the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board listed in the Blue pages of your telephone book.
- Who can claim benefits? If you are an employee covered by Workplace Safety and Insurance, you will be eligible to collect benefits if you have a work-related injury or disease which causes you to lose wages or to require medical treatment. Surviving relatives of a worker who dies in a work-related accident or from a work-related disease are also eligible to collect benefits.
- Employees not required to be covered by Workplace Safety and Insurance Unlike all other employees, officers of a corporation, a partner in a business, or a sole proprietor employed in an industry covered by the Act can decide to remain outside of the system. Of course, if these senior executives and business owners apply to be covered by the Act, they lose the right to sue their business organizations for compensation.
If you are unsure about whether you are covered by Workplace Safety and Insurance or if you are eligible to collect benefits, you can call the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board or speak with a lawyer.