Direct Referral to Physiotherapy Program


The program supports disability management for employers by providing workers access to physiotherapy within 48 hours of experiencing a sprain or strain. 



One of the most common workplace injuries are sprains and strains. Providing early access to physiotherapy can help workers stay at work and recover more quickly.  

Getting back is part of getting better. Work is a crucial aspect of recovery from workplace injury. Work not only brings financial stability but can also help speed up the healing process, keeps people active and provides a renewed sense of purpose.


Any New Brunswick employer can apply to the Direct Referral to Physiotherapy Program. Contact WorkSafeNB's Physiotherapy Consultants to receive the application.

Once you are accepted to the program WorkSafeNB will provide: 

  • The list of approved service providers (physiotherapists) across the province.
  • The Direct Referral to Physiotherapy for Soft-Tissue Injuries Referral Form.

How to use the program:

  • Review the Direct Referral to Physiotherapy for Soft-Tissue Injuries Referral Form with injured employee before applying;
  • Ensure the worker applies for worker's compensation benefits;
  • Complete the Employer Report of Injury or Illness
  • Fax the completed Direct Referral to Physiotherapy for Soft-Tissue Injuries Referral Form to an approved service provider;
  • Fax job demands information to the physiotherapist, including current duties and any available modified duties.






Program benefits: 

  • Treatment can begin as soon as the claim is filled and before a decision on a claim is made;
  • Keep skilled and experienced workers;
  • Keeps productivity loss to a minimum;
  • Reduces the costs of finding and retraining new workers;
  • Can reduce potential claims costs, which can thereby reduce assessment rates; and
  • If the claim is accepted, all fees for the program are paid within the claim. If the claim is not accepted, there is no cost to the employer or employee.

Physiotherapists responsibilities:

  • See the injured worker within two working days to assess the injury and safe abilities at work;
  • Send a report of the Functional Assessment and Work Recommendations to the family doctor and to WorkSafeNB;
  • Recommend whether physiotherapy treatment is needed;
  • Recommend the worker seek medical attention if the physiotherapist finds any indication the injury is not a strain or sprain,
  • If physiotherapy treatment is provided, send the work recommendations and functional assessment to the employer outlining what the worker is safely able to do at work. The recommendation may be the worker is:
    • safe to return to regular hours and duties;
    • safe to return to their job with modification of duties and/or hours worked;
    • safe to return temporarily to a different job offered by the employer; or
    • there is no suitable safe work available at time of the assessment and the worker needs to be off work.
  • Regularly monitor the worker’s progress and update the family doctor and employer. 

Frequently Asked Questions

All New Brunswick employers are eligible.

A sprain or strain often presents as pain limiting the ability to move and may feel like you’ve “pulled something” or injured yourself when exerting force (lifting, pushing, pulling) or in a minor slip or fall.

You can expect to receive a response within two to three business days.


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