Workers Compensation Board of Prince Edward Island

COVID-19 and Workers Compensation Claims

March 19, 2020

The following provides information for Island workers and employers about COVID-19 as it relates to Workers Compensation Board (WCB) claims. Please check here frequently for up to date information.

  

Are workers eligible for WCB benefits if they have COVID-19?

 

Most cases of COVID-19 are not work-related. If a worker’s COVID-19 is not work-related, there is no need to report it to the WCB.  

 

If a worker contracts COVID-19 that may be a result of work, they should report it to the WCB to determine if they are eligible for compensation benefits. To have a claim accepted for COVID-19, all of the following conditions must be met:

 

  • There is medical confirmation that the worker has COVID-19.
  • The worker has been exposed to COVID-19 at work.
  • The exposure is confirmed to be work-related, that is, it arose out of and in the course of their employment.

 

Ref: WCB policies, Conditions for Entitlement POL-71 and Occupational Disease POL-65

 

What happens if a worker files a claim?

 

The WCB adjudicates all claims on a case-by-case basis, including those related to COVID-19. The WCB will be in contact with the worker and their employer about the claim. 

 

Are quarantined or self-isolated workers eligible for benefits?

 

The WCB is not able to provide compensation for workers who cannot work for preventative or precautionary reasons. As set out in the Workers Compensation Act, compensation is only available for a work-related injury or illness.

 

Workers in quarantine or who have been directed to self-isolate may be eligible for benefits from other sources. Workers should refer to their employers’ sick leave policies and the Government of Canada’s employment insurance policy, which has recently been amended in response to COVID-19.

 

 

For workers who have a WCB claim

 

Will there be any disruption to WCB benefits or services?

 

Benefits will continue for eligible workers during the COVID-19 crisis and we are working to ensure that payments are issued as quickly as possible.

 

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19our office is closed to visitors, but we will continue to provide essential services through the phone, email or other methods. 

 

Impairment assessments will be postponed until non-urgent medical services become available.

 

Reviews related to extended wage loss benefits are temporarily suspended. Benefit payments will continue at the same rate as before the crisis.

 

What happens if a worker cannot participate in their rehabilitation?
 

Self-isolation, social distancing and availability of vocational and non-urgent health care services may have an impact on rehabilitation of workplace injuries. If this is the case, workers are asked to contact their case worker to discuss their claim.
 

If a worker has symptoms or is diagnosed with COVID-19, the worker should follow the recommendation of their health care provider about isolation and quarantine, and contact their case worker.
 

Workers who are symptomatic should contact 8-1-1 immediately and follow the directions provided at that time.
 

 

Is the WCB processing new claims during COVID-19?

 

Yes. The WCB continues to process new claims as quickly as possible. We ask that employers use Online Services to file reports of accidents. Workers are encouraged to use the fillable form on the WCB website and to send it to the WCB:

  • By mail or fax to the address on the form
  • Or by email to workerservices@wcb.pe.ca

 

Who can I contact if I have more questions?
 

For more information about workers compensation related to COVID-19, check the WCB website or call the WCB at 902-368-5680 or 1-800-237-5049.

 

We are also available by email at workerservices@wcb.pe.ca



Media Contact:
Laura Steeves, Senior Communications Coordinator
902-894-0362 or news@wcb.pe.ca