Workers Compensation and Messengers

All bicycle and foot messengers are automatically covered by the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB), formerly the Workers' Compensation Board, if injured on the job. It doesn't matter if your company has registered with WSIB and it doesn't matter if they haven't paid their dues.

WSIB coverage in the courier industry varies for car versus foot and bicycle couriers. They have developed an organizational test specific to the courier industry to determine whether a courier is a "worker" and therefore entitled to mandatory coverage under the Act, or whether the courier is an "independent operator" and responsible for their own disability insurance. Independent operators can also apply for voluntary coverage if they choose.

Anyone may obtain a copy of the test and complete it to determine whether they are entitled to mandatory compensation. However, in the case of bicycle and foot couriers there is no need to complete the organizational test as it states quite clearly on the front page:
 

NOTE: COURIERS WHO COLLECT OR DELIVER ON FOOT OR BY BICYCLE ARE CONSIDERED WORKERS AND SHOULD NOT COMPLETE THIS FORM.

According to the WSIB if a "worker" is involved in a work related accident but their "employer" does not have an account with the WSIB, "the worker can call the WSIB (1-800-387-5540) to register the claim. The employer is obligated to register with the WSIB and report all accidents. They are subject to penalties for failing to do this. The worker will be covered even if the employer has never registered with the WSIB."

Employers cannot pass the cost of coverage to their workers. There are penalties to employers for doing this.

All bicycle and foot couriers (and car couriers who pass the organizational test) should maintain accurate records of work related accidents. If they get hurt, they should see a doctor. Tell them the truth about all details to ensure coverage. Doctor must report work-related accidents to the WSIB.

Since bicycle and foot couriers are entitled to mandatory coverage they give up the right to sue their employer regarding work related accidents. Couriers who deliver by car must complete the organizational test. If they are determined to be workers they also receive mandatory coverage. If they are determined to be independent operators they are not covered but may sue if they can establish that the courier company contributed to the accident in some way.
 

Making a WSIB Claim

You should immediately file a claim with the WSIB if you suffer a work-related illness or injury that causes you to
Note that it doesn't matter whose fault the injury or illness is. WSIB benefits are no-fault.

Short-term Modified Work

You can do up to 7 calendar days of modified work at full pay, without having to set up a claim with the WSIB, as long as you do not need more than first aid. Your employer must report your workplace injury or illness to the WSIB if it goes past the 7 calendar days of modified work.

To file a claim for benefits you must:

1. Consent to release of your functional abilities information to your employer
Your functional abilities information is non-medical information from the health care professional treating you. It tells you and your employer what kinds of work activities your illness or injury permits. Without this consent, you cannot claim benefits.

You give consent by signing one of the following forms:

2. Report your illness or injury to the WSIB

If you sign a Form 7 or Consent Form 1492 your claim will be initiated when your employer submits the Form 7 to the WSIB. If you choose to complete a Form 6 you must submit this form to the WSIB to claim all benefits you are entitled to. You can download  Form 6 from the WSIB website:
http://www.wsib.on.ca/wsib/wsibsite.nsf/LookupFiles/DownloadableFileForm6forWorker/$File/0006A.pdf

WSIB publishes a guideline to help you fill out Form 6
http://www.wsib.on.ca/wsib/wsibsite.nsf/LookupFiles/DownloadableFileForm6Guidelines/$File/1906A.pdf

In either case, the WSIB will contact you if more information is nedded to assess your claim to benefits.

You must file a claim for benefits as soon as possible after being injured or after you become aware of an illness. You have up to six months to file a claim, but filing immediately is better and ensures uninterrupted benefits to which you are entitled.


Making a Claim for Occupational Disease

Under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, if you are injured on the job you can receive compensation benefits while recovering.  You also receive compensation benefits if you become sick as result of your job. For example: chronic knee problems from riding or breathing and respiratory problems related to exposure to air pollution.


When to make a claim
You can make a claim if you think that you are ill because of something you did at work or were exposed to during work.

You can make a claim through:


There is no time limit for filing an occupational disease claim.

Setting up a Claim:
You or your physician can call, write, or fax basic information about the diagnosis to the WSIB in order to set up a claim. Your doctor can start by sending into us a Health Professional's Report (form 8)(pdf). Your doctor can obtain the form by calling 1-800-387-0750, or download and complete the form off the WSIB Web site. You can also fill out the Worker's Report of Injury/Disease Form 6 available online. Or you can sign your employer's Form 7 (Employer's Report of Injury/Disease) informing.

Once WSIB receives information about your claim, they will assign a claim number and adjudicator from our Occupational Disease and Survivor Benefits (OD&SB) Program to your case.

What information do I need to provide?
First, you need these facts:

Tell your doctor what substances and conditions you have been exposed to at work, even if your illness is short-term.

Your adjudicator needs information about your exposure and medical treatment. It's helpful if you can:


Some illnesses take many years to develop. It is helpful to have detailed information about your previous jobs and employers, with dates of employment, how long the job lasted, and types of jobs done.





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