Functional Abilities Assessment Ontario

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Quick Overview:

A Functional Abilities Assessment (FAA) is a comprehensive evaluation that measures an individual’s physical, cognitive, and emotional abilities in relation to their job requirements. In Ontario, this assessment plays a crucial role in determining an individual’s eligibility for disability benefits and return-to-work plans. Here are five key facts about FAA in Ontario:

1. Purpose: The primary purpose of a Functional Abilities Assessment is to determine the functional limitations and capabilities of an individual following an injury or illness. This assessment helps insurance companies, employers, and legal professionals make informed decisions regarding disability claims.

2. Conducting the Assessment: A qualified healthcare professional conducts the FAA by evaluating various factors such as mobility, strength, endurance, coordination, mental functioning, communication skills, and more. They may use standardized tests or observation techniques during the evaluation process.

3. Legal Requirements: In Ontario’s workers’ compensation system (WSIB), it is mandatory for injured workers to undergo a Functional Abilities Assessment when they reach certain milestones during their recovery process. These assessments help determine suitable work options or accommodations for individuals returning to work after an injury.

4. Accommodation Planning: The results of a Functional Abilities Assessment assist employers in developing effective accommodation plans tailored to an employee’s specific needs while adhering to legal obligations under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

5. Independent Assessments: To ensure objectivity and fairness in disability claims cases or workplace disputes related to functional abilities assessments, independent assessors play a vital role by providing unbiased evaluations based on medical evidence and industry standards.


Q1: Who can request a Functional Abilities Assessment?
Answer: Employers can request FAA when assessing fitness-for-duty issues or planning accommodations; insurance companies require it for disability claim evaluations; legal professionals may seek FAA reports as evidence in litigation cases involving disabilities.

Q2: Can employees refuse to undergo a Functional Abilities Assessment?
Answer: Employees have the right to refuse the assessment; however, it may impact their eligibility for disability benefits or return-to-work plans.

Q3: How long does a Functional Abilities Assessment typically take?
Answer: The duration of an FAA depends on various factors such as the complexity of the case, the number of tests involved, and the individual’s condition. On average, it can range from two to four hours.

Q4: Are Functional Abilities Assessments covered by insurance?
Answer: In most cases, functional abilities assessments are covered under workplace injury insurance (WSIB), private health insurance plans, or through employer-funded disability benefit programs.

Q5: Can an employee request a second opinion if they disagree with their Functional Abilities Assessment results?
Answer: Yes, employees have the right to seek a second opinion from another qualified assessor. However, it is essential to follow proper procedures outlined by employers or insurers regarding obtaining second opinions.

Q6: What happens after completing a Functional Abilities Assessment?
Answer: After completing an FAA in Ontario’s workers’ compensation system (WSIB), individuals will receive a Work Transition Plan that outlines suitable work options based on their functional abilities and limitations.

Q7: Are there any privacy concerns associated with Functional Abilities Assessments?
Answer: Healthcare professionals conducting FAA must adhere to strict privacy regulations outlined in legislation such as Personal Health Information Protection Act (PHIPA) and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA).


Functional Abilities Assessments play a crucial role in determining an individual’s eligibility for disability benefits and return-to-work plans in Ontario. These assessments help employers make informed decisions about accommodations while ensuring fairness through independent evaluations. It is important for employees to be aware of their rights regarding these assessments and understand how they can impact their claims process.