If you contract COVID from work, or where it is likely you contracted it from work, you should file a claim with WorkSafeBC. This would include when you are sick and unable to get tested, but your symptoms are consistent with COVID.
Even with mild symptoms, it possible that long-term or permanent secondary conditions (i.e., conditions commonly referred to as long-COVID) may develop in the future.
To protect yourself from these possible long-term consequences and regardless of whether you suffer any time loss (“wage loss”) or healthcare costs, and regardless of whether you are able to be tested, you should file a WorkSafeBC claim.
The initial steps for filing a WorkSafeBC claim include:
- Seek medical attention immediately. Make sure to tell the treating practitioners you’ll be filing a claim with WorkSafeBC. You should obtain copies of clinical records / chart notes from the treating practitioners and get a copy of the treating practitioner’s report to WorkSafeBC (Form 8/11).
- Advise your employer immediately. Complete incident reports as required in your workplace. Also advise your Joint Health & Safety Committee through your union Local.
- Advise WorkSafeBC by calling 1 888-WORKERS (1 888 967-5377), Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. You can also file a claim by mail or online using Form 6. This form is available online at the WorkSafeBC website. You can download a PDF or submit a claim online. Make sure to keep a copy of your claim.
- When speaking with WorkSafeBC, or when completing Form 6, include all relevant information, such as the occupation, the duration of exposure, the places of exposure, the presence of persons with symptoms and/or diagnosed COVID-19, evidence of work causation, etc.
Make sure your report (Form 6) has the same information and is consistent with your treating practitioners report to WorkSafeBC (Form 8/11). Your employer will also need to contact WorkSafeBC and submit Form 7 - ask your employer to supply you a copy directly. Even though your employer will contact WorkSafeBC, it's very important that you contact them too (by phone, or by mail / online by submitting Form 6).
- Ask WorkSafeBC for a copy of the claim file. Check to make sure the contents are accurate and contain all relevant documents and evidence.
- Keep a file with relevant information available for calls from WorkSafeBC. And keep detailed logs of all calls, correspondence, meetings, and treatment. This will help your keep track of your claim.
WorkSafeBC is currently prioritizing COVID-19 claims for workers experiencing a loss of income. Other COVID-related claims may be delayed. But it still important to file claims as soon as possible.
This bulletin is just a brief overview on getting a claim started. More information is available in this guide prepared by CUPE, along with a factsheet. WorkSafeBC also has information online on COVID claims, the assessment and review process, forms and contact information. If you need more assistance, please contact your local or a shop steward.
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