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Cost Relief for COVID-19 Claims: WSIB

On March 26, 2020, the Workplace Safety & Insurance Board announced a $1.9 billion package to help Ontario employers through the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. In addition to the Financial Relief package, the WSIB has announced a further measure to help Ontario businesses weather the storm: Costs related to the COVID-19 claims will not be charged to Ontario employers.

In other words, approved COVID-19 claims will not affect individual employer’s premium rate under the New Rate Framework. Instead, COVID-19 claims will be charged to the Schedule – thereby distributing the cost across all rate classes, which will further help employers in frontline health care and social services by not over-burdening their respect rate classes.

What does this mean for employers?
Employers are still required to report claims for workers who were exposed at work and who are symptomatic or ill due to the exposure. In this regard, the claim reporting requirement has not changed for COVID-19. It is strongly recommended that employers track COVID-19 reported claims. If you use our atworkCare software, we have modified the application to track COVID-19 reported claims as well as their WSIB claims cost. This tracking will be important to ensure that you benefit from any current or future adjustments that the WSIB may provide for COVID-19 claims.

Should employers track all COVID-19 workplace exposure?
The WSIB will adjudicate claims for both physical and psychological injuries arising from COVID-19 claims. Further, it is likely that workers exposed in the workplace can initially be asymptomatic only to subsequently become physically or psychologically ill. Recording exposures to COVID-19, will be helpful should the worker become ill at a later time.

What should be reported to WSIB?
Where a worker is exposed to the virus in the workplace and is symptomatic or ill, employers must complete and file the Employer’s Report of Injury (Form 7). Where the workplace exposure does not result in immediate symptoms or illness, it is recommended that employers complete and submit the Program for Exposure Incident Reporting (PEIR) Form.

Our clients using atworkCare are able to auto-generate these forms once the exposure is recorded in the application.

Matters related to COVID-19 changes rapidly and we are endeavouring to provide additional posts and related Q&As to this subject.  To receive this information please sign-up.