Heart Conditions

Please read the factsheet Occupational Diseases: An Introduction for basic information about workers' compensation for occupational diseases.

Can I get workers' compensation for a heart condition?  

In most situations, a heart attack is treated as a personal injury, not as an occupational disease. This means you must show that the heart attack occurred when it did because of your work. 

The sole exception to this is for firefighters. If a firefighter is disabled as a result of heart disease (disease of the pericardium or coronary arteries) or a heart injury (heart attack, cardiac arrest, or arrhythmia), their heart condition will be presumed to be due to the nature of employment as a firefighter, if they were employed as a firefighter immediately before they were disabled by the condition.

If your heart condition relates to some other accepted WorkSafeBC claim for an injury or disease, or relates to treatment for such an injury or disease, WorkSafeBC will consider whether it can be included as part of that claim. An example of this would be if you had a heart attack while taking medication to treat your original injury, and the medication increased your risk of heart attack. 

What if I disagree with a decision?

If you do not agree with a WorkSafeBC decision, you have the right to request a review. You must file your request for review within 90 days.  If you disagree with the Review Division decision, you have 30 days to file an appeal to the Workers’ Compensation Appeal Tribunal. 

This factsheet has been prepared for general information purposes. It is not a legal document. Please refer to the Workers Compensation Act and the Rehabilitation Services and Claims Manual, Volumes I and II for purposes of interpretation and application of the law.