If you are experiencing mental health disturbances (such as PTSD, depression, or adjustment disorders) as a result of a work-related event or circumstance, don’t suffer in silence. Personal Injury Claims are not uncommon, and you may be eligible for assistance through Worksafe BC (Worker’s Compensation Board of British Columbia). Compensation protocol is typically structured according to DSM-IV definitions of Acute Stress Reaction, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Depression, and Adjustment Disorders. These conditions arise as a consequence of acute severe stress, or prolonged psychological trauma.
If approved for coverage, benefits include compensation for lost wages, the cost of mental health treatment, and support for returning to work. Though certain professions are at an increased risk (first responders, firefighters, police officers, healthcare workers, journalists, etc.), workplace injuries related to mental health can occur in any profession.
You are required to report the incident to your employer before filing a claim with Worksafe BC. Additional information regarding eligibility, the following steps for completing a mental health claim, and frequently asked questions are available on their website (here).
Obtaining counselling support after a work-related injury is very important as you make your way through the Return-to-Work process. Often times we are so focused on our physical injury that we do not pay attention to the psychological impacts of the incident. Our clinicians combine effective counselling methodologies such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Prolonged Exposure, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), Lifestyle Modification and more to create an effective psychological rehabilitation plan.
Some of our clinicians are registered with the Worker’s Compensation Board of British Columbia to provide Social Work and Mental Health Services in the Okanagan area.
Personal Injury claims may also be filed through ICBC if you have been in a motor vehicle accident. The coverage for these benefits is set out in Part 7 of the Regulations to the Insurance (Motor Vehicle) Act, so they are referred to as Part 7 Benefits. You may also hear the term No-Fault Benefits, because you may be entitled to benefits regardless of your level of responsibility in the collision. Generally, anyone injured in a motor vehicle accident in British Columbia, or any B.C. resident injured in a motor vehicle accident elsewhere in North America, is entitled to Part 7 benefits. That said, there are exceptions and it is important to be as informed as possible.
The first step is to report your accident to ICBC promptly (generally within 36 hours) by using their toll-free number: 1-800-910-4222. *Note: like any insurance policy, there is an abundance of fine-print which restricts or even precludes coverage. For this reason, it is not recommended that you answer any detailed questions at this time. You are only required to state the fact that an accident happened, provide your personal contact information, and report who else was involved in the accident, (if you know their names).
The second step will be to submit a statement to ICBC within 30 days of the accident. Lastly, you will be required to submit an insurance claim application for Accident Benefits within 90 days of the accident.
Once you have been approved for counselling coverage, you can book an appointment with one of our Registered Clinical Counsellors. Our office offers direct-billing to ICBC for services provided in accordance with a personal injury claim, so sessions are provided at no cost to you. In order to file these, we require your claim number, the name of your ICBC adjuster, and the number of counselling sessions you have been approved for. Additional information regarding eligibility and frequently asked questions are available on their website (here).
Please don’t hesitate to call our office if you have additional questions or concerns. We’re here to support and advocate for you on every step of your healing journey!
*Also available for early, late and weekend appointments upon request