A man hurts his back at work. Stock photo by Getty Images.
What happens if you get injured on the job and can’t continue working, or contract an occupational disease and are forced to stay home for a period of time? How will you pay your bills?
Thankfully, there are workers’ compensation programs in Canada that you can apply for to offset financial hardship during the time you are unable to work.. Loved ones can also make a claim if you are killed at work.
Most programs are administered by the provincial or territorial governments in Canada, except for federal employees which are administered by the federal government.
Your employer will submit a claim to the appropriate worker compensation board within three days. You should notify your supervisor immediately of your work-related injury or illness, seek immediate medical attention and work with your supervisor and claims officer on your claim.
However, you need to be aware that you have responsibilities when it relates to your work-related injury or illness.
Here are your responsibilities if you are injured:
- Immediately notify your supervisor about any accident you have at work. Even a small accident must be reported;
- Immediately seek first aid to minimize the injury;
- Seek medical help as fast as possible;
- Medical treatment outside of work: if you seek medical treatment after work hours, you must tell your employer about it as soon as you return to work;
- If you are unable to return to work: notify your supervisor as fast as you can;
- You are responsible for collecting documentation and give your employer and the authorities as much detailed information about the accident or illness as you can. If you don’t your claim may not succeed;
- Work closely with your employer to file your compensation claim;
- You are required to work closely with and follow the instructions of your workers’ compensation claim’s officer.
- Attend and keep a record of all medical appointments and treatment programs recommended by your doctor and the officials responsible for managing your claim.
- Keep all documentation in a safe place so you can produce it when asked.
Failing to do the above could impede your claim.
Compensation for federal government employees
The Government Employees Compensation Act covers the following employees for:
- All federal government employees, whether working in Canada or overseas;
- Most Crown agency staff; and
- Employees of the Senate, House of Commons, Library of Parliament, Office of the Senate Ethics Officer and the Office of the Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner.
If you are injured, you need to immediately report the injury to your employer. The employer will then submit a claim on your behalf to the Labour Program Federal Workers’ Compensation Service, Employment and Social Development Canada. Your employer has three days to file the claim.
Claims for all other employees
If you work in the private sector, public sector, government, etc., and do not fall under the definition of a federal government employee, then you will need to apply to workers’ compensation in your province or territory. Every province or territory has their own worker’s compensation board.
The same applies as with the federal program, you must report your work-related injury or illness to your employer immediately and the employer will file a claim with the provincial authority, which will examine whether the claim is valid.
Your employer then has three days to report your work-related injury or illness to the appropriate provincial authority.
Provincial Workers' Compensation Boards in Canada