Information for workers on COVID-19

 

All WCB offices are closed to the public to avoid the spread of COVID-19. To contact the WCB about a claim, please email askwcb@wcbask.com or call 1.800.667.7590.

The WCB’s preferred method for the submission of forms, reports or receipts is by emailing forms@wcbsask.com. Please send either a picture (JPEG) or a PDF document.

The following information is to assist workers as we understand that you may have many questions surrounding possible work-related exposure to COVID-19. Most instances of COVID-19 are not work-related, therefore they do not need to be reported to the Saskatchewan Workers’ Compensation Board (WCB). However, there are some exceptions. Claims submitted for COVID-19 contracted through a work-related exposure are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis.

When COVID-19 may be work-related

A worker may be entitled to compensation if there is a confirmed link between the workers exposure and their employment, and they contract COVID-19 .Based on WCB policy, Injuries – Communicable Disease (POL 02/2010), the following conditions must be met:

  • There is confirmed exposure to the disease in the workplace.

          PLUS

  • The time period that the illness is contracted is in close proximity to the confirmed workplace exposure.

           PLUS

  • The nature of employment creates a greater risk of exposure for the worker than to the general population.

Example of claims that may be accepted

Acute care hospital worker:  A worker providing treatment to patients for COVID-19. As this worker is at greater risk than the general public, they may have an acceptable claim.

Retail worker: A worker, while working with the general public, interacts with a customer who has been confirmed as having contracted COVID-19, may have an acceptable claim.

COVID-19 – questions and answers

A: If a situation meets the criteria listed above, in that your employment puts you at greater risk of contracting the virus than the general public, and you lose time from work after contracting the virus, a claim should be submitted.

A: Yes, however as COVID-19 can be transmitted through contact in the community, workplace or home, non-workplace exposures would need to be assessed and ruled-out.

A: If you have a claim accepted for work-related COVID-19, any treatment complications are also considered to be work-related.

A: No. A claim can only be accepted for those that contract COVID-19 because of their employment. Preventative measures put in place by employers are not covered by the Saskatchewan WCB.

A: Like any other claim, the Saskatchewan-WCB will adjudicate based on the specific merits of your claim. We must determine whether your exposure to the disease arose out of the course of your employment, and was caused by an employment hazard (in this case, exposure to the virus).

If your claim meets these conditions, coverage will be extended for medical aid and any lost wages due to the condition.

A:  No.  Under our Communicable Diseases Policy (POL 02/2010) a worker must develop COVID-19, and be part of an industry that is at a greater risk than the general public of contracting COVID-19 (such as a nurse) to have an acceptable claim.

A:  Each claim is adjudicated under it’s own merits.  Based on our Communicable Diseases Policy (POL 02/2010) we may consider claims for individuals that are employed in an industry where they are at more risk of exposure than the general public is (such as nursing), when there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the workplace, and a worker develops symptoms in a timeline consistent with the exposure in the workplace.

COVID-19 – frequently asked questions for workers with an existing claim

A: No. Your WCB benefits will continue if your return-to-work program has been interrupted due to COVID-19. However, your benefits will not continue beyond your scheduled full time return to work date or recovery from your work injury. This will be discussed between yourself and your WCB claim representative. Read WCB policy, COVID-19 Response – Benefits When a Return to Work (RTW) Plan is Interrupted (ADM POL 03/2020).

A:  No, you’re WCB benefits will continue while we find an alternate treatment program for you.

A:  No, the WCB will continue your wage loss benefits for the 14 day isolation period.

A:  The WCB will extend your wage loss benefits for a period of time to assist you in finding childcare. The WCB will also assist you with the cost of childcare for the duration of your treatment program.

A:  The worker’s benefits would be continued for a period of up to four weeks.  Under our suspension policy (POL 15/2016), we are able to provide up to four weeks of benefits to workers who are unable to continue in their program “with good reason.”  A COVID-19 diagnosis would fall under “good reason” and continued benefits would be extended for up to four weeks.

A:  The worker’s benefits would be continued for a period of up to four weeks.  Under our suspension policy (POL 15/2016), we are able to provide up to four weeks of benefits to workers who are unable to continue in their program “with good reason.”  This meets the criteria of “good reason” and benefits would be extended for up to four weeks.

Questions and answers about COVID‐19 leaves in the workplace

We know that as employers are making decisions about how best to ensure the health and safety of workers and of citizens they serve there are a number of questions that have arisen. The Government of Saskatchewan has developed some questions and answers to assist employers and employees at this time. For more information click here.

Other resources:

www.saskatchewan.ca/coronavirus

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