Work Transition Assessments for Surviving Spouses


If a surviving spouse requests one, the WSIB provides a work transition (WT) assessment. The request must be made within one year of the worker's death.


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


The WSIB provides a WT assessment to

  • identify a suitable occupation (SO) for the surviving spouse, and
  • determine whether a WT plan is required to enable entry or re-entry into the labour market in the SO, see 19-03-03, Determining Suitable Occupation.

When providing WT assessments, 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.

Only the person who meets the definition of "spouse" at the time of the worker's death, see 20-01-02, Definitions and Application Dates, is entitled to WT assistance. Separated spouses are not.

Request within one year

A spouse must request a WT assessment within one year of either the worker's death or the date entitlement is accepted in the claim, whichever is later.

If a spouse is not able to participate in an assessment at the time of the request, the decision-maker may defer the assessment until the spouse is able to participate.

WT assessments

WT assessments may be conducted by the decision-maker, or, if appropriate, by an external agency.

To identify a SO and determine whether the spouse requires a WT plan, the decision-maker

considers the spouse's

  • employment history
  • transferable skills
  • functional abilities, and
  • aptitudes.

Evaluation tools used to gather information may include, but are not limited to

  • psycho-vocational evaluations
  • vocational/transferable skills assessments
  • functional abilities evaluations
  • controlled environment assessments, and
  • work assessments.

Entitlement to a WT plan

A surviving spouse is provided with a WT plan if, based on the WT assessment, the decision-maker determines that a plan will enable the spouse to enter or re-enter the labour market, see 20-02-04, Work Transition Plans for Surviving Spouses.

Co-operating in the WT assessment

A surviving spouse must co-operate with all aspects of a WT assessment or the assessment may be discontinued.

Application date

This policy applies if the injury or disease that resulted in the worker's death occurred on or after February 15, 2013.

Document History

This document replaces 20-02-03 dated October 3, 2007.

This document was previously published as:
20-02-03 dated October 12, 2004
20-02-03 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(9), (10)


#41, January 28, 2013, Page 508