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COVID-19 and recent changes to the Workers Compensation Act and Board Policy - BCGEU

During the pandemic, the B.C. government amended the Workers’ Compensation Act to allow workers to be compensated for lost wages when they contract COVID-19 on the job.

Members who have reason to believe they have contracted COVID-19 through work should report it to their employer as soon as possible and should file an application for compensation with WorkSafeBC, including as many details as possible.

There are two pathways of investigation that WorkSafeBC uses to determine if a worker was actually exposed on the job and qualifies for coverage. WorkSafeBC may presume in certain cases that you have contracted COVID through your work; otherwise, they must investigate more thoroughly to see if your work caused you to contract COVID. Members are encouraged to apply if there is a reason to believe they contracted COVID-19 on the job and leave that determination to the board rather than trying to figure it out themselves.

Additionally, members who have disability coverage under their collective agreement should also apply for coverage under that plan. As the standards for what claims can be accepted by WorkSafeBC and disability plans vary, by applying to both at the same time, members can improve their chances of obtaining faster benefit coverage under one or the other.

Note: Compensation is not available for wages lost due to self-isolation or other preventative measures. Workers can only qualify for compensation if they were confirmed to have contracted COVID-19. Your employer or our government may set up plans for compensating for those lost wages, but WorkSafeBC will not compensate workers for wages lost in those situations.

If your application to WorkSafeBC about COVID-19 exposure in the workplace (or any other issue) is rejected and you feel that the decision was incorrect, our union provides support for filing and pursuing an appeal. Please click here for information on accessing those resources