RTW what to expect

The basics

The following information is being provided so that you have an idea of what to expect when the WSIB approves your claim and begins the process of trying to get you back to work as soon as is practically possible. Knowing your rights and responsibilities is key to your successful reintegration to the work-force.

Various WSIB staff may be involved in assisting you with the return-to-work process and ensure that the appropriate help is available when you need it.

Some of the WSIB staff that could be involved in your claim:

  • Eligibility Adjudicator 
  • Case Manager
  • Nurse Consultant
  • Return-to-Work Specialist

These individuals will play supportive roles such as; determining your eligibility upon receiving your claim for benefits, supporting you and your employer in your return-to-work efforts by sharing any available information on your functional abilities, help set return-to-work and recovery goals, plan activities in collaboration with you, your employer and treating health professional to achieve return to work and recovery.

Having said that, 30 years of hands-on experience in representing thousands of injured and ill workers across the Province, tell us that there are many challenges that inevitably cause the process to breakdown and most often it is the injured or ill worker who ends up paying the price. The tools we have put in place, were created to help you to navigate the system with as minimal issues as possible.

Please take a few moments to familiarize yourself with the following:   

  • Report your injury or illness to your employer as soon as possible.
  • Get medical treatment immediately after a work-related injury or illness and follow the recommendations of your health-care professional.
  • Contact your employer after seeing your doctor to begin talking about your return to work.
  • Stay in touch with your employer while recovering and update them on your progress and keep a record of when you contact your employer.
  • Work with them to identify suitable work opportunities that:
    • is safe,
    • productive,
    • within your functional abilities, and
    • matches your pre-injury earnings as closely as possible.
  • Keep your Case Manager informed about your return to work and keep a record of your contact.
  • Let your Case Manager know about any significant changes in your medical condition or income, within 10 days of the change happening.
  • Significant changes can include:
    • Returning to work;
    • Starting to receive other income or government benefits; or
    • Important updates in your medical condition.
    • Let the WSIB know of any disputes or disagreements between you and your employer about your return to work.
    • Co-operate in the return-to-work process as much as you can, to avoid the WSIB from making a finding of non-co-operation and potentially reducing, suspending or discontinuing your benefits.

Using the Functional Abilities Form

The WSIB needs functional abilities information to help you plan a safe and suitable return to work. The Functional Abilities Form for Early and Safe Return to Work (PDF) provides information about a person’s physical condition and their ability to work. A request for the form should only come from a person with a work-related injury or illness or their employer and should only be completed when planning a return to work.

The treating health-care professional (e.g., doctor, physiotherapist) will complete the form. The health-care professional will identify a person’s ability to walk, stand, sit, lift, and perform other work-related tasks. This information helps identify jobs that a person can perform within the limits set out in the form.

For more information on the Functional Abilities Form, read the Guide to Completing the Functional Abilities Form (PDF).

More information

Whether your workplace injury or illness was 30 years ago or recently, we have both the expertise and the tools to help you.

Have a look at our WSIB Settlement Kits page, you will likely find one that addresses your issues. If there isn't one, just send us an email describing your problem and we will do our best to create one for you!