If you’ve been injured at work in BC, WorkSafeBC benefits can help.
If you’re in BC and you get hurt or get sick at work, you generally can’t sue your employer. Instead, you can claim benefits from workers compensation.
There are a lot of benefits that workers can qualify for. Things like healthcare benefits so you can get quick medical treatment or rehabilitation, wage loss benefits so you keep getting paid while you’re unable to work, and permanent disability benefits that pay seriously injured workers who, after they’re done healing, are still left with a disability.
At Labour Rights Law, we’ve helped all kinds of clients with all sorts of injuries get the compensation and benefits they’re entitled to. In this blog series, we provide some advice about how we, as lawyers, go about getting the best results we can for our clients.
In this three-part blog series, we’re going to talk about three basic steps: making a claim, managing your claim, and making appeals to your claim. Today’s blog is all about the first steps to making a claim to WorkSafeBC.
#1 Make your WorkSafeBC claim
This is the most important step. If you’re hurt or get sick from something work-related, tell your employer about your injury and make a claim.
If the forms on WorkSafeBC’s website seem too complicated, or you’re not sure what to include, give WorkSafeBC a call.
When you make a claim, the most important thing is to be honest and provide the most relevant details you can. If you’re calling your claim in, have notes in front of you with all the details of the accident like when and where it happened, who was there, and what work you’ve missed. Have the basics ready too, like your employer contact information and your SIN and personal health number.
You should keep in mind that your employer will be able to access the information on any WorkSafeBC claim, including medical information and notes from your phone calls with case managers and other WorkSafeBC staff.
Should I make a claim if the injury’s not that bad?
If you’re wondering about whether you should make a claim, that probably means you should.
You don’t need to have seen a doctor to make a claim. For example, if you cut or burned yourself badly enough that you needed first aid, make a claim. If you may have strained or sprained your back, make a claim. If you think you’ve been bullied or harassed at work to the point that it’s keeping you at home or making you feel sick, make a claim.
Injuries that may not seem like a big deal at the time can reappear or get worse down the line, and if there’s no record of you making a claim then you’re going to have a lot more trouble getting benefits from workers compensation for the injury later on – or might be barred from making a claim completely! At WorkSafeBC, the hard deadline is generally one year from the date of injury. But again – it’s best to make your claim as soon as possible.
Do I have to have been hurt at work to make a claim?
You don’t need to physically be at work to have a claim accepted. In BC, the phrase WorkSafeBC uses to help decide whether a claim should be accepted is: did the injury happen out of and in the course of employment?
To answer this question, WorkSafeBC looks at a variety of things – and you don’t need to physically be at work to get compensation. For instance, you could get a claim accepted if you were off-site but doing work that benefits your employer. You could also get compensation if you got hurt at a work-funded celebration or sporting event.
Other than calling WorkSafeBC to make a claim, is there anything else I should do?
As noted above, inform your supervisor at work about what happened as soon as you can.
If you’ve been injured at work, it’s also very important that you see a medical professional as soon as possible. Medical evidence is not only important for your claim, the time between you getting hurt and seeing a doctor can be viewed as strong evidence that you were, in fact, hurt at work. So get examined and tell your medical professional what happened.
Tune in next week to learn how to manage your claim once it’s submitted and tips on how to make sure you stay on top of your claim.
DISCLAIMER: The content of this article, and this website generally, is not intended as legal advice and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. To provide legal advice on your problem, a lawyer must first understand your specific situation.
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