Return-to-Work Plans for Surviving Spouses


The WSIB provides a surviving spouse with a return-to-work (RTW) plan if, based on the RTW assessment, the WSIB determines that a plan is necessary to enable the spouse's entry or re-entry into the labour market in the identified suitable occupation.


The purpose of this policy is to set out when the WSIB will provide a surviving spouse with a RTW plan.


RTW plans are designed to provide the skills, knowledge, and abilities necessary for a surviving spouse to enter or re-enter the labour market. Generally, the WSIB provides a surviving spouse with only one RTW plan.

When providing RTW services, the WSIB has regard for surviving spouses' rights under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Surviving spouses are entitled to equal treatment, without discrimination, with respect to services, goods and facilities.

RTW plan

The WSIB develops an individualized RTW plan in collaboration with the surviving spouse.

Components of a RTW plan

A RTW plan includes all programs and activities necessary for a surviving spouse to enter or re-enter the labour market.

The plan lists:

  • the names of each training agency or institution to be used
  • the details and outlines, start and end dates, and costs of each program, and
  • the costs associated with each program or activity, including travel expenses, and costs of work or workplace modifications and assistive devices.

For details about the duration of RTW programs, see 19-02-10, RTW Assessments and Plans.

RTW expenses

The WSIB pays for all necessary expenses during a RTW plan, see 19-02-10, RTW Assessments and Plans.

Special needs and circumstances

The WSIB may wait to implement a RTW plan in order to accommodate any special needs a surviving spouse may have, or any circumstances that may affect a surviving spouse.

For example, the WSIB may wait to accommodate:

  • the spouse's emotional unreadiness to start a plan
  • the way the age of a spouse's child, or the availability of child care, would affect a plan, and/or
  • the spouse's current or previous employment situation and how it would affect a plan.

Co-operating in the RTW plan

A surviving spouse must co-operate in all aspects of a RTW plan or the plan may be discontinued.

Application date

This policy applies to all decisions made on or after March 1, 2021, for all accidents.

Document history

This document replaces 20-02-04 dated February 15, 2013.

This document was previously published as:
20-02-04 dated October 3, 2007
20-02-04 dated October 12, 2004
20-02-04 dated June 15, 1999
13.4 dated January 1, 1998.


Legislative authority

Workplace Safety and Insurance Act, 1997, as amended
Sections 2(1), 42, 48, 102, 104, 108


#50, March 24, 2021, Page 591