Working with the Medical Community
for WSIB Case Management
The law and policies surrounding WSIB is best described as constantly changing and complex. This is made even more challenging when you consider that communication between the worker's treating doctor and the employer is closed to non-existent.
In our experience, Health Care Professionals may have little knowledge of their WSIB obligations; and likely may resent the administrative paperwork associated with WSIB claims.
The medical community seems ill prepared in providing adequate training to physicians respecting their roles and responsibilities when dealing with WSIB and employers.
This is further complicated when you consider that the family doctors see themselves as patient advocates and when a medical opinion is sought that could adversely affect the patient's WSIB claim, the doctor-patient relationship can be compromised. In this situation, the treating doctor may be concerned with a patient's reprisal through the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario or a legal suit.
Here are 5 tips for employers when communicating with the treating Health Care Professionals in completing the WSIB Functional Abilities Form commonly known as the FAF.
Attach a covering sheet with the WSIB FAF to the Health Care Professional indicating these five points:
- Section 37(3) of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act states when requested to do so by an injured worker or the employer, a health professional treating the worker shall give the Board, the worker and the employer such information as may be prescribed concerning the worker's functional abilities.
- Provide the doctor with a brief outline of the worker's pre-injury job duties and tasks.
- Provide the Health Care Professional with a list of modified work duties and tasks. Avoid being wordy. Be pleasantly direct and instructive by providing the doctor with what modified work is available and what physical demands are associated with the work. Inform the doctor that rest periods and postural breaks will be accommodated.
- Instruct the Health Care Professional to complete the WSIB Functional Abilities Form and return a copy to the worker.
- Inform the Health Care Professional that WSIB pays $40.00 for completing the FAF.
If you receive no response from the Health Care Professional or reluctance to co-operate ask the WSIB to contact the Health Care Professional to obtain compliance.
What if the WSIB does not provide sufficient support to the employer in obtaining the FAF?
Our suggestion is to contact the College of Physicians and Surgeons and make a complaint citing the Colleges own administrative Policy #2-12 which obligates the treating Physician to provide third party forms (e.g. Functional Abilities Form); and citing Section 37 of the Workplace Safety and Insurance Act provides the legal authority for health care practitioners, hospitals and health facilities to submit, without consent, information relating to a worker claiming benefits to the WSIB.
This will provide the impetus for compliance.