Legal Matters: Applying for multiple income replacement benefits
This article was published in The Hamilton Spectator.
Q: I’m off work and the WSIB is taking a long time deciding on my claim. Can I apply for other benefits?
A: There is a common misconception among both employees and even some employers that once an employee claims a workplace injury, they are unable to apply for short-term disability, EI sick benefits or any other income replacement source they have available. This is simply untrue.
Provided that you are being honest and transparent about the applications you have made, there is nothing stopping you for claiming income replacement from any source you have available. Should you end up with multiple approved claims, there are ways to avoid overpayments or reimburse a lower priority insurer.
What’s most important is your need for immediate financial security while you attempt to address your health concerns and hopefully recover. That need takes precedence over an employer or insurer’s desire for less paperwork, or concerns over a possible overpayment they will need to have returned.
Co-ordinating the often complex web of overlapping insurance coverages can be a difficult task at the best of times, let alone when you’re struggling with a recent injury or significant health challenge.
I regularly speak with people navigating these applications, and am happy to do initial consultations free of charge. Contact me if you find yourself in this situation and I’m happy to try to be of assistance.