What time limits apply?
Under the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act there is a six-month time limit to apply for benefits. For further details on time limits, please see Filing a Claim.
If you have missed a time limit, you should seek help from a qualified representative as soon as possible. Both the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board (WSIB) and the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT) have the authority to extend time limits.
What if you did not file your claim on time?
If you did not file your claim on time, you should complete a WSIB Form 6 (Worker’s Report of Injury/Disease) and submit it to WSIB. You can also obtain the Form 6 by visiting the WSIB website, or by calling WSIB at 1-800-387-0750. If your employer reported your accident, you should receive a letter from WSIB that includes a claim file number. If so, you can also file your Form 6 online through the WSIB website.
You should provide WSIB with as much information as possible when explaining the reason for the delay in filing your claim.
When will WSIB extend the time for filing a claim?
According to WSIB policy, the six-month deadline will be extended when:
- WSIB originally decided you should not receive benefits, but either the law or WSIB policy changed
- you filed a claim in another province or country and then discovered your claim should have been filed in Ontario
- your employer failed to report your accident to WSIB, and WSIB determined your employer made you afraid to report your accident
- it seemed you would only need health care benefits when you filed your claim, but you later experienced a loss of earnings
- there are exceptional circumstances
What are exceptional circumstances?
The following are examples of exceptional circumstances where the time limit for filing an appeal may be extended by WSIB:
- important personal reasons, such as as serious health problems or an accident were affecting you or a close family member
- you had to leave the province due to the illness or death of a family member
- you did not understand the time limit requirements or what would happen if they were not met (for example, no one at work ever told you about receiving benefits if you reported a work-related accident, or you did not understand because you did not speak English very well)
- you had reported the accident to your employer, a doctor (or other health care professional), or a co-worker
What If Your Circumstances Are Not Included in the List?
The exceptional circumstances listed above are only some examples. WSIB decision-makers are able to review a variety of other situations as well. Ultimately, you need to provide WSIB with a good reason why you did not file your claim on time. If you have a good reason, you should inform WSIB right away.
What If WSIB Does Not Extend the Time Limit to File Your Claim?
If WSIB refuses to extend the time limit and decides you are not eligible for benefits because you did not file your claim on time, you can appeal the decision to an Appeals Resolution Officer (ARO). See Appeals at the WSIB. If your appeal to the ARO is not successful, you can further appeal to the Workplace Safety and Insurance Appeals Tribunal (WSIAT). See Appeals at the WSIAT. If your appeal to WSIAT is successful, you should contact WSIB. WSIB will then decide your benefits.
This publication contains general information only. It is not legal advice about a particular situation and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified representative. This publication was last updated on the revision date listed below.
March 1, 2011