WSIB Functional Abilities Form

What Is The WSIB Functional Abilities Form?

Navigating the complexities of workplace injuries and illnesses can be challenging for both employers and employees.

One crucial tool in this process is the WSIB Functional Abilities Form.

Understanding this form is key to managing workplace health and safety effectively.

Let’s dig into the specifics of this form and its role in the workplace.

Key Takeaways

  1. The WSIB Functional Abilities Form is used to assess an employee’s ability to perform work duties following an injury or illness, facilitating a safe return to work.
  2. It is typically requested by either the employer or the employee and is completed by the employee’s healthcare professional to provide detailed information on functional capabilities and limitations.
  3. While workplaces can create their own forms, the standardized WSIB form ensures consistency and effectiveness in managing the return-to-work process.

Download the latest version of the WSIB Functional Abilities Form.

Download the Guide to Completing the FAF (WSIB Functional Abilities Form).

Explore our FAE services to ensure accurate, WSIB-compliant evaluations.

When Do I Use It?

The WSIB Functional Abilities Form is utilized when an employee has been injured or is suffering from an illness that affects their ability to perform their usual work duties.

It comes into play primarily in situations where there is a need to understand the employee’s current functional abilities to facilitate a safe and early return to work.

This form is particularly relevant when modifications or accommodations in the workplace are required to support the employee’s recovery while ensuring they can continue to contribute to their work in a capacity that suits their current health status.

What Does the Form Do?

The primary function of the WSIB Functional Abilities Form is to communicate the injured or ill employee’s functional abilities and limitations.

It provides a detailed assessment of what the employee can and cannot do in the context of their work. This includes information on physical capabilities like lifting, sitting, standing, and other job-specific tasks, as well as any restrictions that need to be considered.

By outlining these capabilities and restrictions, the form assists in creating a tailored and effective return-to-work plan that respects the employee’s health needs while facilitating their engagement in productive work.

Who Requests It?

The request for a Functional Abilities Form can be initiated by either the employer or the employee.

Employers often request this form following a report of a workplace injury or illness, as part of their duty to accommodate and manage the return-to-work process effectively.

Employees may also request this form to provide clear, medical-based evidence of their functional abilities and limitations, ensuring that their return-to-work plan is appropriate and safe.

Who Completes It?

The Functional Abilities Form is completed by a healthcare professional who is treating the employee.

This could be a family doctor, a physiotherapist, or any other licensed healthcare provider familiar with the employee’s medical condition. The healthcare professional fills out the form based on their assessment of the employee’s health status and functional abilities.

It’s important that the information provided is accurate and objective, reflecting the employee’s current ability to perform work-related tasks.

Can Workplaces Use Their Own Form?

While workplaces can develop their own forms to assess an employee’s ability to return to work, the WSIB Functional Abilities Form is specifically designed to align with the requirements of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Board.

It ensures consistency and comprehensiveness in reporting, which helps in managing the return-to-work process efficiently and effectively. Employers are encouraged to use the WSIB form as it is standardized and widely recognized by healthcare professionals, employers, and employees alike.

Historical Reference

In the early 1990s, the concept of workplace rehabilitation began gaining traction, with a shift towards early intervention and return-to-work programs.

The development of tools like the WSIB Functional Abilities Form was influenced by landmark studies such as the 1993 Ontario Royal Commission on Workers’ Compensation.

This Commission highlighted the importance of workplace adaptation and functional assessment in managing work-related injuries, leading to a more structured approach in return-to-work processes.

Practical Example of the FAF Form In Use

A recent example is the case of a manufacturing company in Ontario, Canada, in 2022.

An employee suffered a back injury, and the company used the WSIB Functional Abilities Form to facilitate his return. Based on the form’s assessment, the company provided modified duties that included less manual labor and more administrative tasks.

This approach not only aided the employee’s recovery but also allowed him to remain productive and engaged in the workplace during his rehabilitation.

Further Considerations

  1. Early Adoption in Specific Industries: The WSIB Functional Abilities Form was initially adopted more rapidly in industries with higher rates of physical injuries, such as construction and manufacturing, long before it became a standard practice in office or retail environments.
  2. Influence on Insurance Premiums: Employers’ diligent use of the WSIB Functional Abilities Form can positively impact their workplace insurance premiums. By facilitating quicker and safer return-to-work processes, companies can demonstrate lower risk profiles and potentially benefit from reduced insurance costs.
  3. Integration with Digital Health Records: In recent years, there has been a move towards integrating the Functional Abilities Form with digital health records. This integration aims to streamline the process, making it easier for healthcare providers to complete and share the form electronically.
  4. Training Programs for Healthcare Providers: Some regions offer specialized training programs for healthcare providers on how to effectively assess and complete the WSIB Functional Abilities Form. These programs focus on ensuring that the assessments are objective, thorough, and beneficial for both employees and employers.
  5. Influence on Workplace Design: The information gathered from these forms over time has contributed to changes in workplace design and ergonomics. Insights into common functional limitations have led to more inclusive and adaptable work environments, reducing the risk of injury and accommodating a wider range of physical abilities.


The WSIB Functional Abilities Form is an essential tool in managing workplace injuries and illnesses.

It bridges the gap between medical assessment and practical work accommodations, ensuring that employees return to work in a manner that is safe, suitable, and respectful of their health condition.

Understanding and properly utilizing this form is a step towards fostering a safer and more supportive work environment.

Enhance your company’s workforce management and risk assessment strategies with RIDM’s Functional Abilities Evaluations (FAEs).

Tailored for employers and insurance companies, our FAEs provide precise, objective assessments of employees’ capabilities, aiding in effective decision-making for return-to-work plans and claims management.

Explore our FAE services to ensure accurate, WSIB-compliant evaluations.

FAQs About the WSIB Functional Abilities Form

Q: Is the WSIB Functional Abilities Form mandatory for all workplace injuries? A: No, it’s not mandatory for all injuries but is highly recommended for cases where there are work restrictions or a need for accommodation due to the injury.

Q: How long does it take to complete the WSIB Functional Abilities Form? A: The time to complete the form varies, but healthcare professionals usually fill it out during a standard appointment based on their assessment of the patient’s condition.

Q: Does the employee see what the healthcare professional writes on the form? A: Yes, the employee has the right to see and review what the healthcare professional reports on the form before it is submitted.

Q: Can an employee refuse to have a WSIB Functional Abilities Form completed? A: An employee can refuse, but this may affect their return-to-work plan and benefits related to workplace injury or illness.

Q: What happens if there is a disagreement about the content of the form? A: If there’s a disagreement, it’s usually resolved through discussion among the employee, employer, and healthcare provider, or by seeking a second medical opinion.

Q: Are there any costs associated with completing the form? A: The WSIB typically covers the cost of completing the form. However, the healthcare provider should not charge the employee directly.

Q: Can the form be updated if an employee’s condition changes? A: Yes, it’s important to update the form if there are significant changes in the employee’s condition to ensure the return-to-work plan remains appropriate.

Q: How is the privacy of the employee maintained with this form? A: The form is subject to healthcare privacy laws, and only relevant functional abilities are shared, without disclosing specific medical diagnoses or treatments.

Q: What role do employers play in the completion of the form? A: Employers may provide information about the job requirements but do not participate in the medical assessment. They use the form to understand the employee’s capabilities for planning a return to work.

Q: Is the WSIB Functional Abilities Form used for non-work-related injuries? A: Generally, it’s used for work-related injuries. For non-work-related injuries, other forms or processes may be more appropriate, depending on the situation and the employer’s policies.

Glossary of Terms Used in the Article

  1. WSIB (Workplace Safety and Insurance Board): A government agency in Ontario, Canada, that provides workplace injury insurance for employees and employers.
  2. Functional Abilities Form: A document used to assess and communicate an injured or ill employee’s physical capabilities and limitations in the workplace.
  3. Return-to-Work Program: A process designed to help injured or ill employees transition back to work safely and effectively.
  4. Healthcare Professional: A licensed individual such as a doctor, nurse, or therapist who provides health care services.
  5. Workplace Rehabilitation: The process of helping an injured or ill employee to regain strength and skills to return to work.
  6. Employee: An individual who works part-time or full-time under a contract of employment, providing labor in exchange for payment.
  7. Employer: A person or organization that hires employees.
  8. Physical Capabilities: The physical abilities of an individual, such as lifting, standing, or walking, that are relevant to performing job tasks.
  9. Work Restrictions: Limitations on work activities that an employee can perform due to injury or illness.
  10. Workplace Adaptation: Modifications or changes in the workplace to accommodate an employee’s limitations or disabilities.
  11. Billing Information: Details provided by healthcare professionals for the purpose of receiving payment for services rendered.
  12. Work-Related Injury: An injury or illness that occurs as a result of or during employment.
  13. Assessment: The evaluation process conducted by a healthcare professional to determine an individual’s physical abilities and limitations.
  14. Ergonomics: The study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body and its movements, often used to prevent workplace injuries.
  15. Rehabilitation Process: A series of actions and treatments designed to help individuals recover from injury or illness.
  16. Accommodation: Adjustments or modifications made in a workplace to enable employees with disabilities or injuries to work effectively.
  17. Return-to-Work Plan: A strategy developed to facilitate an injured or ill employee’s return to work, considering their functional abilities and limitations.
  18. Insurance Premiums: Regular payments made to an insurance company in exchange for coverage, which can be influenced by workplace safety practices.
  19. Digital Health Records: Electronic systems used to store and manage patients’ medical information.
  20. Workplace Safety: Policies, practices, and procedures implemented to ensure a safe working environment and prevent injuries.