Start Occupational Therapy after a car accident

Get help. Get better. Get well.

Ask for OT for your ICBC claim.

Ask for OT

You have been injured in a car accident, and you have not fully recovered. You want to get back to your regular life, but you are not sure how or where to get started. Ask for Occupational Therapy (OT) for your ICBC claim.

Occupational Therapy is fully covered by ICBC.

Occupational therapy can help you put the pieces together that you need to get better. OTs provide individualized care that is specific to you, your injuries, and your life. They listen to you and focus their work on your goals and what is meaningful to you.  
We can help you to get back to living your life after a car accident. 

How OT can help after an accident 

An Occupational Therapist can help you in many ways after a car accident.  
We focus on your function and help you perform a wide variety of activities. Whether you’re having physical, cognitive, and emotional difficulties, an OT can help. We see each person as unique and tailor our approach to you. 
An Occupational Therapist can help you with activities like: 

  • Preparing you and your home for your discharge from hospital 
  • Restoring basic activities, like bathing, dressing, grooming and personal hygiene 
  • Getting you back to activities like home making, finances, meal planning, community access 
  • Leisure and recreation 
  • Getting back to school or work 
  • Return to driving 

Click here to learn how an OT can assist you in different stages of your recovery. 

OT is fully covered by ICBC 

Occupational therapy is covered under ICBC’s Enhanced Care model.  There are no user-fees for OT.

However, OT is not pre-approved like other health professions.  To have an OT help your recover, your ICBC claims specialist must approve OT involvement.  To get approval, you will need a referral from your GP or a doctor’s note. Talk to your doctor if an OT would be right for you.

If ICBC has already approved funding for Occupational Therapy for you, simply email us the written authorization, and we will assign an OT to assist you. 

ICBC must approve OT services before you start with an OT.

Get Started with an OT

After reporting a claim to ICBC, you can ask your ICBC Recovery Specialist for OT. You can also contact our Referrals Team at OT Works! to discuss your situation. You can reach us by phone, email or on our website:

You need a GP referral (or Doctor’s note) for ICBC to pay for OT services.

What do I need to get started? 

You will need to provide some personal information, ICBC claim details, and a GP note. 

Your GP note should state the reason for referral and how it’s related to the MVA.

Our Referrals Team will then guide you through the process. 

If you are not sure if OT has been approved, our Referrals team will contact ICBC and/or your legal counsel on your behalf to secure funding. 

How much does OT cost? 

If ICBC has approved OT services for you, our OT services will be fully paid by ICBC. There are no user fees and you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket.

NOTE: ICBC will not pay for OT services that have not been approved. We recommend always getting ICBC approval before starting with an OT. If you are not sure how to get the approval, give us a call and we can help

When can I start working with an OT? 

It depends, but our goal is to make the whole process as fast as possible.  We always try to assign the best OT that matches your situation and find the right fit for you. It may take some time for the right OT to become available. Our Referrals team will keep you informed during the process and inform you of any wait times. 

Who will contact ICBC to get approval for Occupational Therapy? 

Our Referrals team and/or your legal counsel will contact ICBC on your behalf to get approval for OT.

Where are OT services delivered? 

Our OTs work in the community, and can see you in your home, workplace or in a community setting (park, community center).  
We can also offer telehealth if that’s appropriate for your situation. 

OT Works! has OTs available in the following areas: 

  • Lower Mainland: Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, North & West Vancouver, Richmond, Delta, Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Langley, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows 
  • Fraser Valley: Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack 
  • Sea-to-Sky: Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton 
  • Sunshine Coast: Gibsons, Sechelt 
  • Vancouver Island:
    • South: Victoria, Esquimalt, Sooke, East Sooke, Saanich, Sidney, Langford, Colwood, Metchosin 
    • Central: Nanaimo, Parksville, Ladysmith, Qualicum Beach, Port Alberni 
    • North: Campbell River, Courtney, Comox, Cumberland, Fanny Bay, Nanoose Bay, Union Bay 

Are all of your OTs approved by ICBC? 

All our OT’s are authorized by ICBC to provide OT services. Occupational Therapists s are university-educated professionals, registered by the College of Occupational Therapists of BC.

Get started today 

If you are ready to start your rehabilitation after a car accident, ask for OT and contact us today. 
Our OTs will be happy to help you getting back to the life you love! 

Photo by Daniel Xavier from Pexels

Empowering Veterans: OT Works! Supports Veterans and RCMP Service Members on Their Journey to Post-Service Life 

At OT Works!, we take pride in being able to serve our veterans through Veterans Affairs Canada (VAC). Our Occupational Therapists (OTs) can play a large role in guiding service members as they transition back into civilian life. We understand that this journey can be challenging, and that’s why we create personalized treatment plans to assist our clients in enhancing their daily life management. 

As experts in functional rehabilitation, our OTs understand the difficulties that veterans and their families may face during this transition period. Our therapists build upon the service member’s existing skills, fostering efficiency, safety, and independence. 

Under contract with VAC, OT Works! therapists provide Occupational Therapy assessments and treatment. These interventions encompass a wide spectrum, including:

  • home adaptations 
  • assistive device prescriptions (including wheelchairs and scooters) 
  • mental health support 
  • managing disrupted routines, and  
  • tackling occupational challenges arising from traumatic brain injuries. 

How Can an OT Help?  

Our commitment is to provide personalized and effective treatment not only to veterans but also to their families. As community-based occupational therapists, we meet our clients in their environments, whether it’s their workplaces, schools, gyms, homes, or communities.  

We value the rich diversity of experiences our clients bring to the table and have established a rigorous Quality Assurance process to ensure they receive the care they truly deserve. OT Works! takes pride in helping our veterans become the best version of themselves. 

We extend our support to those with physical injuries, such as soft tissue injuries, orthopedic conditions, and brain injuries, as well as those dealing with trauma-induced or exacerbated mental health conditions like PTSD, depression, and anxiety. Additionally, our clinical expertise extends to chronic pain and operational stress injuries. 

Services we offer 

Our Occupational Therapists employ evidence-based, trauma-informed care strategies. We place a strong emphasis on compensation and goal-oriented treatment plans, assisting clients by: 

  • Providing educational insights into injuries, current abilities, and recovery, such as pain management and typical recovery timelines. 
  • Working to enhance and expand current abilities or skills, whether it’s increasing lifting tolerance or improving emotional regulation. 
  • Adapting materials and environments, from adding a bench in the shower to assessing the need for a power wheelchair. 
  • Recommending environmental changes, including connecting clients with specialized public transportation options or advocating for workplace accommodations. 

Our Experience with VAC Clients 

Our OTs are passionate about working with veterans and boast extensive experience in addressing their unique needs. Some of our team members have been dedicated to serving veterans for many years. We understand the distinctive challenges and requirements of veterans, thanks in part to our Clinical Director, Pamela Russell, who grew up in a military family. Her father served as a military member, with her mother supporting veterans through a career with Veterans Affairs Canada. This understanding of both military and civilian life ensures our client-centered services celebrate your strengths and competencies, ultimately helping you manage everyday tasks efficiently, safely, and as independently as possible. 

Areas served

Our services extend across various regions, including: 

  • Metro Vancouver: Vancouver, Burnaby, New Westminster, Surrey, North & West Vancouver, Richmond, Delta, White Rock, Port Moody, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Langley, Fort Langley, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows. 
  • Fraser Valley: Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack, Harrison Lake, Agassiz, Dewdney, Hope. 
  • Sea-to-Sky: Squamish, Whistler, Pemberton. 
  • Vancouver Island-South: Victoria, Esquimalt, Sooke, East Sooke, Saanich, Sidney, Langford, Colwood, Metchosin. 
  • Central Island: Ladysmith, Nanaimo, Parksville, Qualicum Beach, Port Alberni. 
  • North Island: Campbell River, Courtney, Comox, Cumberland, Fanny Bay, Nanoose Bay, Union Bay. 

Referring a Veteran

Referring a veteran to OT Works! is a straightforward process: 

  • VAC Case Managers: Send your referral through the BHSOL portal. 
  • RCMP Case Managers: Feel free to send the referral to us via email, fax, or give us a call to discuss. 
  • Veterans: If you’re a veteran unsure of your needs, please discuss them with your Case Manager. If you have any questions or uncertainties, don’t hesitate to contact us, and we’ll be more than happy to assist you. 

Get started with an OT  

If you or someone you know could benefit from the guidance of a skilled occupational therapist, we invite you to reach out to us today: 

Email:referrals@ot-works.com

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.   

At OT Works!, we are dedicated to supporting veterans as they embark on their post-service journeys towards a fulfilling and independent life. 




 

Introducing Karen, Parisa, and Simone: Occupational Therapists

We are thrilled to present the latest additions to our dynamic team: Karen Gill, Parisa Madani, and Simone Mann – occupational therapists at OT Works!
Since joining us between May and July of 2023, they have been delivering exceptional community-based occupational therapy services. Through their dedicated efforts to incorporate daily routines at home, work, and within the community, they are committed to enhancing independence and guiding clients towards their rehabilitation goals.

Karen earned her Master of Occupational Therapy at McMaster University. She is an advocate for a client-centered approach, aiming to empower individuals to engage in meaningful activities encompassing personal care, employment, and leisure pursuits. Karen has successfully assisted clients navigating challenges related to concussion, traumatic brain injury, chronic pain, and mental health concerns such as anxiety and depression. Her knowledge extends to musculoskeletal and orthopedic injuries, as well as mixed diagnoses. Karen extends her support to a diverse clientele, including those with WSBC and ICBC claims, private-paying clients, and individuals with extended health and disability insurance coverage. Fluent in Punjabi and Hindi, Karen serves the Surrey/Langley area.

Parisa, a graduate of the University of British Columbia’s Master of Occupational Therapy program, enriches our team with her valuable background as a Kinesiologist. Her prior experience underscores the significance of active physical therapy for sustainable outcomes. Parisa specializes in aiding clients grappling with musculoskeletal and orthopedic injuries, chronic pain, and mental health challenges on their journey back to the workforce. She extends her guidance to individuals within WSBC, ICBC, private-pay sectors, and those covered by extended health and disability insurance plans. Fluent in Spanish, Parisa serves communities in Surrey, Langley, Burnaby, and New Westminster.

Simone is a dedicated occupational therapist who achieved her Master of Occupational Therapy at Bond University in Australia. She stands out for her compassionate and respectful demeanor, which she combines with innovative, evidence-based interventions tailored to each client’s distinct values and needs. Simone excels in supporting clients dealing with physical injuries, chronic pain management, exposure therapy, and brain injury rehabilitation. With a clientele encompassing WSBC and ICBC claims, private-paying individuals, and those under extended health and disability insurance, Simone brings her expertise to the fore. Fluent in Punjabi and Hindi, she serves clients in Delta, Surrey, Langley, Richmond, New Westminster, and Burnaby.


All our therapists, including Karen, Parisa and Simone, are registrants and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).   

Get started with an OT 

If you or someone you know can benefit from the guidance of a skilled occupational therapist, we invite you to contact us today! 

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com 

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.  

Adult female ballet dancer smiling with other dancers behind her

Sports and Leisure for a Durable Return-To-Work

Practicing dance moves can be a step in the right direction when returning to work after an injury. Sports and leisure activities build skills and endurance that are often transferrable in the workplace.  Our occupational therapists sometimes incorporate sports and leisure activities into treatment plans so workers return to their jobs in a timely and safe manner.  This increases workplace productivity, decreases the number of absences and can reduce worksite accidents. 

How OTs Use Sports and Leisure for Return to Work 

When Melissa Ferguson, OT, first meets with a client, she wants to know, “What are some of the important activities for you in your life?”  She asks her clients why they enjoy those activities.  She chooses to focus on what lights her clients up and gets them excited, even when an injury feels like a barrier to participating.  She uses task analysis to create a step by step breakdown on how to achieve a chosen final goal.   

Through a gradual progression in frequency and intensity, Melissa helps her clients discover what they can do, rather than focusing on what they can’t.   

The Benefits of Sports and Leisure  

Melissa’s clients build up sports and leisure routines before returning to work.  As a result, her clients arrive at their jobs better prepared with skills in stress and pain management as well as community activation and ergonomics

Exercise and hobbies can improve both physical and psychological functioning when they become regular, personalized practices for a variety of reasons.  They allow us to connect with members of our community.  They foster a feeling of accomplishment and confidence.  Sports and leisure also: 

  • develop habits to build structured routines 
  • hone motor skills 
  • prevent and improve back problems, especially through low-stress aerobics like walking and swimming 
  • reduce chronic pain through yoga, Pilates, and strength training 
  • support independent living for seniors and prevent falls 
  • release tension caused by repetitive tasks and desk set-ups 
  • foster mental wellbeing 

Additional Resources 

Educating yourself is a great first step to returning to recreational activities.  Below are resources you can turn to for more information. 

Get Started with an OT 

All of our therapists at OT Works! are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC) and have additional training in areas such as mental health, brain injury rehabilitation, home safety and chronic pain. 

If you or someone you know could benefit from occupational therapy after a motor vehicle accident or other injuries, contact us today!  We are happy to answer any questions you may have. 

E-mail: info@ot-works.com 

Phone: 604.696.1066 ext 1000  

Meet Steven, Aman and Maren: Occupational Therapists

Welcome Steven Lin, Aman Ranji and Maren Kristensen to the OT Works! team.  They provide community OT services for individuals by implementing daily activities at home, work and in the community in order to foster increased independence.  All three of our new therapists are eligible to work on our contracts with WorkSafe BC, ICBC and Veterans Affairs Canada.  They also serve private-paying clients and those with extended health/disability insurance. 

Steven has been working as an Occupational Therapist for over 13 years.  He has successfully treated clients with traumatic brain injuries and traumatic stress disorders.  He recognizes that every client has unique strengths and barriers and looks forward to problem-solving with his clients.  Steven serves clients in the Metro Vancouver region, including Vancouver, Burnaby, Richmond, and Surrey. 

Aman has a diverse background in physical and mental health and has worked in both private and public settings.  He is a Certified Work Capacity Evaluator (CWCE) and enjoys assisting clients as they return to work.  He aims to have positive meaningful interactions with each of his clients.  Aman also serves clients in the Metro Vancouver region. 

Maren has practised occupational therapy for 10 years in both British Columbia and Alberta.  She has a passion for working with clients recovering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Adjustment Disorder.  She is very experienced with Return-to-Work planning for clients with various injuries.  Maren serves the North Shore region, including North Vancouver, West Vancouver and Vancouver. 

Like all of our therapists, Steven, Aman and Maren are full registrants and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).   

Get started with an OT 

If you or someone you know could benefit from working with an occupational therapist, contact us today! 

Email: referrals@ot-works.com 

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000.  

text: COVID-19 Occupational Therapists: Essential to Mental Health, image: lighthouse with water spilling over the guardrails

Occupational Therapists are Essential to Mental Health

OT interventions such as activation and exposure therapy, as well as daily routine implementation, are instrumental in getting clients back to work and life while managing mental health concerns.

Especially during COVID-19, and afterwards, caring for our own mental and emotional well-being is necessary to foster healthy, supportive communities.

A lack of funding for occupational therapy means that many Canadians aren’t getting the services that they need. Click here to learn how you can advocate for improved access to occupational therapy services!

Message from the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists (CAOT)

“It’s time to recognize OTs as mental health providers!

“Now more than ever, we need “all hands-on deck” to help Canadians with the mental health care they need following the unprecedented disruption that COVID-19 has wreaked on everyday lives. The Mental Health Commission refers to an ‘echo pandemic’ of mental health impacts in the wake of COVID-19 – a critical societal issue for which OTs are an essential part of the solution.

“Unfortunately, most Canadians cannot access occupational therapy services as occupational therapy is not covered under most public and private health care plans.

“Critical decisions are being made by employers, insurance companies, and unions to increase access and coverage for mental health services following the impact of COVID-19. OTs must take action now, to inform decision makers that OTs should be recognized as mental health providers and included in public and private health care plans.

“Visit www.caot.ca/mentalhealthOT to find sharable case studies and a template letter you can send to your insurance provider, union, MP and MPP.”

Image: Courtesy of the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists

Mathilde and Bronwyn

Meet Mathilde Bleuze & Bronwyn Cormack: Occupational Therapists

Welcome Mathilde Bleuze and Bronwyn Cormack to the OT Works! team.  They provide community OT services for individuals with musculoskeletal/orthopaedic injuries, chronic pain, mental health, concussion/traumatic brain injuries and mixed diagnoses.  They guide clients in managing their daily activities at home, work and in the community in order to foster increased independence.

Mathilde enjoys thinking outside of the box and supporting clients in their own environments.  Originally an OT in France, she has a wealth of experience particularly in return-to-work planning, home safety and seating and mobility.  Mathilde serves clients on Vancouver Island, particularly in the Comox Valley region.

Bronwyn finds that private practice allows for a dynamic work environment.  She enjoys learning about the different roles people have in their communities.  She provides workplace assessments, return-to-work planning and activation, among other services.  Bronwyn serves clients in the Sea-to-Sky region, primarily North Vancouver to Whistler.

Like all of our therapists, Mathilde and Bronwyn are full registrants and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).  

Get started with an OT

If you or someone you know could benefit from working with an occupational therapist, contact us today!

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000. 

Jaclyn (white shirt, long brown hair), Pamela (green shirt, short grey hair), Nicole (black shirt, long brown hair)

Hello, Victoria!

OT Works! is now providing community occupational therapy services in Victoria and Vancouver Island.

OT Works! is pleased to announce that we are now offering community occupational therapy services to clients and customers on Vancouver Island. OT Works! helps a variety of people, including those who are injured in motor vehicle accidents (ICBC rehabilitation) or workplace incidents (WorkSafe BC programs). We provide workplace solutions (return-to-work services for insurance and disability management providers) and support for Canadian veterans and service members (Veterans Affairs). We also help private clients who need help with home safety or return-to-work support.

Locations Served

We serve clients in their community (homes, workplaces, school and in their community). Our OTs are mobile and come to where the clients live and work, which allows us to better understand our clients and develop meaningful assessment and treatment services that are individualized to each client. On Vancouver Island, our occupational therapists serve clients in the Greater Victoria region, and Central Island area.

Greater Victoria

  • Victoria
  • Esquimalt
  • Oak Bay
  • Sooke
  • Saanich
  • Sidney
  • Langford
  • Colwood
  • Metchosin

Central Vancouver Island

  • Campbell River
  • Courtenay
  • Comox
  • Cumberland
  • Fanny Bay
  • Nanoose Bay
  • Union Bay

Occupational Therapy Services

Our occupational therapists provide occupational therapy assessment and treatment services to clients throughout the rehabilitation process. Our community occupational therapy services include:

  • Return-to-Work Planning and Support
  • Ergonomic Assessments
  • Home Health & Safety
  • Community Integration
  • Concussion Management
  • Treatment for Depression and Anxiety

Click here for more info.

Our Therapists

Nicole Chan (Occupational Therapist) Victoria
Nicole Chan, Occupational Therapist in Victoria

Nicole Chan grew up in Victoria and is happy to provide OT services in her hometown. She serves clients in Greater Victoria and southern Vancouver Island including Victoria, Esquimalt, Sooke, East Sooke, Saanich, Sydney, Langford, Colwood, Metchosin. She has additional training and experience with traumatic brain injuries, ergonomic solutions and mental health rehabilitation.

Mathilde Bleuze serves the Comox Valley(Courteny, Comox) and central Vancovuer Island (Campbell River to Nanoose Bay). She works with a diverse range of clients including older adults, people with musculoskeletal injuries and workers requiring ergonomic assessments.

Contact Us Today

All of our other therapists-including Nicole and Mathilde-are certified with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).

Contact us if you or anyone you know could benefit from occupational therapy services in Victoria or the Central Vancouver Island.

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com

Phone – Victoria: (250) 999-8896

Phone – Vancouver: (604) 696-1066 ext. 1000

OT and ICBC rehab: Emma’s Drive to Explore

When ICBC asked OT Works! for help, Emma was avoiding driving.  Her motor vehicle accident (MVA) increased her anxiety and made time management, memory and attention difficult for her.  With her OT, Emma learned to better manage her concussion symptoms and other pain.  Equipped with evidence-based strategies, she reconnected with the friends and adventures that mattered to her most.

OT Involvement

Referral: 90+ days after the accident

Services:

  • Activation
  • Cognitive Rehab
  • Driving in the Community
  • Return to Work Planning
  • Return to Work Monitoring and Support

Introducing Emma

Age: 35

Occupation: Secretarial Administrator

Injuries:  Concussion; anxiety; soft tissue Injuries to the back, neck and shoulder.

How OT Helped

Emma relies on driving to get to work and hang out with friends.  As a result of her motor vehicle accident, her anxiety increased and she took time off work.  She was afraid to be behind the wheel again and so avoided driving.  She struggled to manage the daily activities in her life and found that recalling and retaining memories were suddenly difficult for her. 

Nicole Chan (OT) and Aman focused on cognitive rehabilitation in order to encourage Emma to reconnect with her pre-accident activities.  They developed calming techniques, followed checklists and used memory aids.  Nicole also rode as a passenger in Emma’s car while they built up Emma’s confidence as a driver.  With a return-to-work plan, developed collaboratively, Emma returned to work full-time.  At the time of her discharge, she was already driving her friends on local trips and exploring what our neighbourhoods have to offer.

“Thanks to Nicole and her encouragement and strategies, [I] feel more comfortable and confident driving on the road after my car accidents.”

Emma (OT Works! client)

Contact Us

All of our OTs are university-trained and certified by the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).  Many of our OTs have additional training in physical OT treatment, mental health, and goal-planning.

Contact us today if you or someone you know could benefit from an OT, or have any questions about how an OT can help after an MVA.

Email:  referrals@ot-works.com

Phone:  604.696.1066 ext. 1000

Three women sitting at cafe booth. Two of the women high five.

Return-To-Work: The OT’s Role

Occupational therapists (OTs) support you during your transition back into the worker role after an injury or accident.  OTs facilitate realistic and proactive return to work planning that considers all of the factors that impact success. Our OTs partner with you to develop plans that enable you to re-build your specific work skills, and the confidence needed for long-term success.

Location of Services:   

Our OTs meet you at your home and workplace to develop a return-to-work plan and to facilitate your progress.

Examples of Services: 

  • Job Site Visit
  • Job Demands Analysis
  • Assistive Technology
  • Ergonomic Assessments
  • Assessing Function in relation to Work Demands
  • Gradual Return-to-Work (GRTW) Planning
  • Gradual Return-to-Work (GRTW) Monitoring
  • Vocational Assessment
  • Accommodations

How can OT help me return to work?   

  • Assess return to work readiness
  • Provide education, strategies and coping tools
  • Facilitate symptom management
  • Prescribe and organize appropriate assistive and ergonomic equipment
  • Develop personalized plans with attainable goals
  • Advocate for return to work options with your employer
  • Provide on- and off-site coaching

Who can refer me?        

There are many professionals who can refer you to RTW Occupational Therapy.  These include:

  • Medical providers, such as your GP, physiotherapist, psychologist, etc.
  • Public services, such as WorkSafe BC, ICBC, health authorities and hospitals.
  • Other professionals involved in your recovery, such as your insurance specialists, adjuster or lawyer.

Who pays?

OT services are typically funded by WorkSafe BC, ICBC, your extended health insurance coverage, health authorities or legal settlements.  You or your family can also pay for your treatment privately.

Why OT Works?

We have assisted clients as they returned to work and other meaningful activities since 2001.  At OT Works!, treatment is client-centred.  Every assessment and intervention is individualized so that your goals are in mind.  While our knowledge is extensive, we have a particular focus on cognitive challenges (mental health and concussions) and ergonomics.  Regardless of the nature of your challenges, we will partner with you to develop a plan built for your success. We help you return to work so that you can stay at work.