Bereavement Counselling


The surviving spouse or children of a deceased worker are entitled to bereavement counselling. Counselling must be requested within one year of the worker's death.

If entitlement to death benefits is not determined within one year of the worker's death, the spouse or children can request counselling within one year of the date entitlement is accepted.

If there is no spouse to request counselling for any surviving children, a parent who does not qualify as a spouse, or a person acting in the role of parent, may request counselling for them. Children may also request counselling themselves.



Bereavement counselling is intended to help the surviving spouse and/or children adjust to the worker's death, and to the resulting familial and social situation.

WSIB responsibilities

The WSIB may provide bereavement counselling or, when necessary

  • determine appropriate counselling resources in consultation with the health care practitioner and the spouse
  • make the counselling referral, and ensure that the spouse and/or children are aware of and understand the purpose of the referral
  • obtain any waivers necessary for the release of information
  • monitor the spouse's and/or children's progress in counselling, or
  • pay for the counselling services.

Duration of counselling

The WSIB authorizes bereavement counselling for up to 12 months, and must pre-authorize any additional counselling.

Transitional provisions pre-1998 Act

If the injury or disease that resulted in the worker's death occurred on or before December 31, 1997, the WSIB may pay for bereavement counselling for a spouse and/or children. The policy and guidelines in this document apply.

Application date

This policy applies if the injury or disease that resulted in the worker's death occurred on or after March 9, 2005.

Document History

This document replaces 20-02-02 dated October 12, 2004.

This document was previously published as:
20-02-02 dated June 15, 1999
13.3 dated January 1, 1998.


Legislative Authority

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, as amended
Sections 2(1), 32, 48(12), 104(2), (3.4)


#2, March 2, 2009, Page 471