Occupational therapy (OT) aims to assist people who are struggling to accomplish the everyday tasks that are meaningful to them due to an injury, illness, developmental delay, cognitive challenge, psychological disorder, or any other disability. It’s one of many types of therapy that help people gain independence and live a fulfilling life.
The ways that OT can help patients are vast and can include working with kids with disabilities at home or in the school system, strategies to maintain independence for completing all your personal care tasks to get ready for the day, cooking and eating, getting around the house with or without modifications inside the home, returning safely to home duties, caring for children, gradually returning to work or modifying the work environment (ergonomics) in order to complete important tasks at work, participating in hobbies and social activities, and much more.
Occupational therapists work with patients to help them regain the ability to accomplish these tasks in a number of ways. The therapist may use hands-on physical rehabilitation techniques, modify the patient’s environment to suit their needs, coach them on the use of physical supports or alternative methods to accomplish the task, and much more.
Occupational therapists typically start by assessing the patient to learn more about their situation and needs and then make recommendations from there. OT’s are also often the preferred medical professional to perform functional capacity evaluations (FCE).
Then, the OT will create a customized plan, either short term or long term (which is known as a Cost of Future Care) to help the patient get back to living a fulfilling life.
Occupational therapy is sometimes confused with physiotherapy — while there are some similarities, there are also many important differences which you can learn about here.
What type of coverage is available for occupational therapy in BC?
There are a number of reasons why someone may benefit from occupational therapy, and many options for coverage. Often, OT services are at least partially covered, depending on your situation. Here are a few common coverage options.
Is occupational therapy covered by ICBC?
In a nutshell, yes. ICBC’s accident benefits cover up to $300,000 in necessary medical expenses, regardless of whether or not you are at fault. An occupational therapist is often used to help navigate the ICBC system, which can be very stressful and frustrating for people involved in a car accident, but also your recovery and timing of other rehabilitation services.
In the instance that you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, it’s important to seek the proper medical attention as soon as possible and to know whether or not you are covered by ICBC. A combination of different medical services may be required for a full recovery. Ask to have an Occupational Therapist on your file to ensure your recovery goes smooth and your supported in a return to work.
Click here to learn more about which health services are covered by ICBC.
Is occupational therapy covered by WorkSafeBC?
Yes. If you’ve been injured at work, you may need the help of an OT to assess the extent of your injuries and your ability to return to work, as well as to aid you in your recovery. WorkSafeBC has Community Occupational Therapy Services on contract throughout the province, so some services are covered. Ask to be referred.
Does my disability insurance cover occupational therapy?
Yes it could, depending on the carrier. Long-term disability insurance exists to protect employees if they are unable to work for an extended amount of time following an injury or illness. In some cases, disability insurance is offered by employers as part of an extended benefits plan. If you have a long-term disability insurance plan, it may cover occupational therapy services. Speak with your insurance provider or contact our team to learn more.
Does my extended benefits plan cover occupational therapy?
Extended benefits are used to pay for services that are not covered under MSP. Extended benefits or health care plans are offered by some employers, and can also be purchased by individuals. In some cases, extended benefits will cover occupational therapy services with a doctor referral. Speak with your employer or benefits plan provider to learn more.
Is occupational therapy covered by MSP in B.C.?
Interior Health has occupational therapy services both in hospital and in the community. You can contact them for a referral if you don’t have other third party coverage.
Occupational therapy services near Kamloops
If you’re looking for occupational therapy services in Kamloops, contact the team at Smart Rehab. We would be happy to answer any questions you have and look forward to the opportunity to help you gain independence and accomplish the tasks that add meaning to your life!