If you are in a car accident, ICBC will automatically grant you 12 visits with an RMT, chiropractor, physiotherapist, acupuncturist… possibly others (don’t quote me on that last bit).

HOWEVER!

And this is a very big, nightmarish and important however. 

IF your car accident had anything to do with work, and therefore will likely lead to a WCB claim… DO NOT just start going for appointments willy nilly. 

Once a WCB claim is approved, they take the ‘driver’s seat’ (couldn’t resist that pun). Here is what will happen.

  1. ICBC will be notified that the accident is implicated with a WCB claim.
  2. ICBC will send you, the patient, a bill for all monies they have already paid out to your therapist(s) for treatments previously delivered related to this claim.
  3. WCB will instruct your therapist(s) to reimburse you, the patient, the money they were previously paid by ICBC. This is good, because you can use this to pay the bill ICBC sent you.
  4. WCB will then pay only one of your therapists (two, if approved) for the services already rendered.  

But here’s the kicker: Any therapists you saw need to be paid for time already spent, and only one or two will get reimbursement from WCB. This means that you, the patient, will need to pay the others out of pocket.

Additionally, WCB doesn’t cover many therapist’s full rates. So while WCB will pay one of your therapists for treatments already provided, chances are, there will still be an amount owing – and that will be paid by you out of pocket. 

It all gets very complicated when ICBC and WCB are both involved. ICBC neglects to explain how work related accidents throw their new process off. 

So in summary:

If you are in a car accident that has nothing to do with work, go forth with your 12 treatments you are allowed. 

If you are in a car accident that occurred while you were on the job, contact WCB first and go from there. Don’t accidentally rack up a big bill for yourself. It’s no fun for you, and it’s no fun for the therapists that don’t want to see you frustrated. 

This blog entry was written by Heather and is based on what she has seen work and not work for her clientele for over a decade. She is a career student who keeps her massage and yoga therapy training current, and does her best to keep up with the newest research and evidence that is constantly being released.

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