Guardians for Workers/Survivors


When workers or their survivors are unable to manage their affairs, the WSIB directs all benefits to a responsible individual, attorney, or guardian to hold and use the benefits on behalf of the worker or the survivor.



Throughout this document, references to worker include dependant(s) or survivor(s), see 20-01-02, Definitions and Application Dates.

Guardian or attorney

If workers are incapable of managing their own affairs, the WSIB determines if any person holds a power of attorney for property, or if a guardian of property has been appointed under the Substitute Decisions Act. The guardian or attorney must provide the WSIB with certified copies of legal documents regarding the appointment.

Informal guardian

If no guardian or attorney has been appointed, the WSIB may direct the benefits to the worker's spouse, parent, dependant, near relative, or friend, if, in the WSIB's opinion, that informal guardian is suitable, willing, and able to administer benefits on behalf of the worker.

Public Guardian or Trustee

If there is no one to act on behalf of the worker, the WSIB asks the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee of Ontario to look after the worker's affairs.

Under the Mental Health Act, the Public Guardian and Trustee may be automatically appointed if a worker is admitted to a psychiatric facility.

Claim for benefits

In certain cases, the WSIB requires that the guardian file a claim for benefits on behalf of the worker or survivors. See 15-01-03, Workers' Requirement to Claim and Consent and 15-01-04, Survivors' Requirement to claim for Benefits for the claiming requirements of workers and survivors.

Payments to a minor

If the worker is less than 18 years of age, the WSIB directs the benefits to the worker's spouse (if not a minor), parent, or guardian, or to the Public Guardian and Trustee.

Periodic reviews

The WSIB conducts reviews of every guardian who assumes responsibility for the affairs of a worker. Guardians who are receiving benefits on behalf of a worker or survivor are expected to keep an account of all expenditures and other uses made of benefits.

Application date

This policy applies to all decisions made on or after January 1, 1998, for all accidents.


The guideline dealing with "claims for benefits" applies to all claims for benefits filed on or after January 1, 1998.

Document History

This document replaces 15-01-07 dated January 3, 2007.

Previously, this document was published as:

15-01-07 dated October 12, 2004
15-01-07 dated June 15, 1999
3.4* dated January 1, 1998
05-01-05* dated December 1989.

*Documents were combined and replaced by 15-01-07 dated June 15, 1999.


Legislative Authority

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, as amended
Section 60

Workers' Compensation Act, R.S.O. 1990, as amended
Section 49


#21, December 11, 2007, Page 454