How to start Occupational Therapy after a car accident
A guide to Occupational Therapy services with an ICBC claim
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.
Occupational therapy can help you putting together the pieces 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 the life you want after a car accident.
How can an OT help?
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.
Is OT covered by ICBC?
Occupational therapy is covered under ICBC’s Enhanced Care model.
Unlike other health professions, OT does not have pre-approved treatments. Your ICBC claims specialist must approve OT involvement. To get approval, you will need a referral from your GP or a doctor’s note.
If ICBC has already approved funding for Occupational Therapy for you, simply email us the written authorization, and we will find an OT available to assist you.
How to start?
After reporting a claim to ICBC, you can contact our Referrals Team to discuss your needs. There are many ways that you can do that:
- By phone, at (604)696-1066
- By email, at email@example.com
- By sending the referral form to us by email or fax
What documents are need to get started?
You will need to provide some personal information, ICBC claim details, and a GP note.
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.
Will ICBC pay for everything?
If you have an open claim with ICBC, and they approve OT services for you, you don’t have to pay anything out of pocket. ICBC will pay for services approved by them. ICBC won’t pay for services that are not approved.
How long does it take to start working with an OT?
It depends, but our goal is to make the whole process as fast and seamless as possible.
Our Referrals team will keep you posted during the whole process and inform you of any longer wait times.
Who will contact ICBC to get approval for Occupational Therapy?
Our Referrals team will contact ICBC and/or your legal counsel on your behalf to secure funding.
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 your OTs approved by ICBC?
All our OTs are university-educated professionals, registered by the College of Occupational Therapists of BC, and authorized by ICBC to provide OT services.
Get started today
If you are ready to start your rehabilitation after a car accident, contact us today.
Our OTs will be happy to help you getting back to the life you love!
Photo by Daniel Xavier from Pexels
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
Educating yourself is a great first step to returning to recreational activities. Below are resources you can turn to for more information.
- “The Benefits of Recreation.” (City of Richmond)
- “Fearless Fitness: An Exercise Guide for People with Chronic Pain.” (CurableHealth.com)
- “Effects of Recreational Physical Activity and Back Exercises on Low Back Pain and Psychological Distress: Findings from the UCLA Low Back Pain Study.” (Authors: E. Hurwitz, H. Morgenstern, and C. Chiao)
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.
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!
Phone: 604.696.1066 ext. 1000.
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
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!
Phone: 604.696.1066 ext. 1000.
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.
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.
- Oak Bay
Central Vancouver Island
- Campbell River
- 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.
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.
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.
Referral: 90+ days after the accident
- Cognitive Rehab
- Driving in the Community
- Return to Work Planning
- Return to Work Monitoring and Support
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)
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.
Phone: 604.696.1066 ext. 1000
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
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.
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.
Meet Jaclyn Forsythe & Nicole Chan
Welcome Jaclyn Forsythe and Nicole Chan to the OT Works! team. They provide community OT services helping clients with musculoskeletal and orthopaedic injuries as well as mental health issues and mixed diagnoses. They work with clients following motor vehicle accidents and workplace injuries with a focus function and return-to-work.
Nicole is passionate about community-based rehabilitation. She meets her clients where they are at in their recovery and her treatment solutions are insightful, creative and individualized.
Jaclyn organizes and simplifies complex situations to produce meaningful results. She has experience with chronic pain with a focus on return-to-function and return-to-work.
Like all of our therapists, Nicole and Jaclyn, are full registrants and in good standing with the College of Occupational Therapists of British Columbia (COTBC).
- Nicole Chan: https://www.ot-works.com/team/nicole-chan/
- Jaclyn Forsythe: https://www.ot-works.com/team/jaclyn-forsythe/
- The OT Works! team: https://www.ot-works.com/about/the-team/