Updated: October 23, 2023
Multiple potential sources of COVID-19 exist in the community, at home and outside of work making it challenging to establish work-relatedness when adjudicating claims.
This means that most COVID-19 infections will not be work-related. But if someone does contract COVID-19 in the workplace, we’re here to help.
For a COVID-19 claim to be allowed, evidence must show that the person’s risk of contracting the disease through their employment is greater than the risk to which the public at large is exposed and that work significantly contributed to the person’s illness.
Currently, the risk to the public is high for contracting COVID-19 in the community. Examples of occupations with high COVID-19 risk in the workplace that would be considered for benefits and services may include (but are not limited to):
- a nurse in a busy ICU who acquires COVID-19 after providing direct care to, and performing medical procedures on, patients known to be COVID-positive
- a first responder who acquires COVID-19 after assisting someone known to be COVID-positive
- a personal support worker (PSW) who acquires COVID-19 caring for residents of a long term care home where there is a known outbreak
All COVID-19 claims received by the WSIB are adjudicated on a case-by-case basis taking into consideration the facts and circumstances.
We continue to closely monitor developments and follow government and public health guidance and will adjust our approach and update this page as necessary. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.
I think I contracted COVID-19 at work. Should I file a claim?
Although most COVID-19 infections will not be work related, some may be. If you have a diagnosis/positive test or symptoms of COVID-19 and you think you became ill because you were exposed at work, you should tell your employer about your illness and details of your exposure and you may file a claim to determine if you are eligible for WSIB benefits.
My employee contracted COVID-19, but I don’t know if they contracted it at work. Do I have to report the illness to the WSIB?
Although most COVID-19 infections will not be work related, some may be. If the employee is not sure where they contracted COVID-19, and you have no known cases of COVID-19 in your workplace, you are not required to report the illness.
You have an obligation to report that an employee contracted COVID-19 (they have a diagnosis/positive test or symptoms of COVID-19) when you have reason to believe there was a potential workplace exposure. For example:
- other employees in the workplace have tested positive for COVID-19; or
- there was a known or suspected contact source for COVID-19 from whom the employee could have contracted it
Information for foreign agricultural workers and their employers
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Foreign agricultural workers who are injured or become ill (including contracting COVID-19) on the job in Ontario are eligible for WSIB benefits and services for allowed claims.
For an overview of WSIB coverage and what to do in case of injury or illness at work, please see:
For information about COVID-19 claims and coverage, please see our COVID-19 FAQs for foreign agricultural workers and their employers page.