The COVID-19 pandemic was an unprecedented event for Ontario’s workplace safety and insurance system, both in terms of the speed with which it arrived in Ontario and the spread of the virus in the population. We responded quickly, in part, by implementing steps to support timely, transparent and consistent decision-making in COVID-19 claims. This allowed us to move swiftly to provide people who contracted work-related COVID-19 with wage-loss benefits, health care, and help getting back to work.
Early in the pandemic, we created an adjudicative approach document for initial entitlement in COVID-19 claims and made it available to the public on our website. We have a long history of adjudicating communicable illness claims that includes other previous global outbreaks, such as SARS and H1N1. Our approach with COVID-19 largely reflected our general approach to these claims.
Almost three years has passed since the Ontario government declared a provincial emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. In that time, we have adjudicated tens of thousands of COVID-19 claims, overcome numerous adjudicative challenges, and learned many lessons.
- Our current practice, as this policy is not a change in direction, but rather provides detailed and clear guidance about how entitlement in communicable illness claims has been and will continue to be adjudicated.
- Examples of the types of employment settings and employment-activities that may have increased risk (e.g., hospitals, patient care).
- Feedback and questions from stakeholders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., immunization status).