ICBC Counselling

Counselling through the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC)

Being in a car accident can be traumatic and have a lasting impact on your physical and mental health. Counselling can be an important part of recovery to help come to terms with what happened, develop coping strategies, and improve overall healing and wellness. Did you know ICBC covers clinical counselling sessions for the first 12 weeks after an accident? Here’s what you need to know about this coverage and how to access it after a crash.

What is covered under ICBC’s “No Fault” insurance?

ICBC has implemented a “no fault” insurance model, which provides recovery benefits to BC residents injured in car accidents, regardless of who was at fault. This includes pedestrians and cyclists who were involved, not just those in a car. Grief counselling may also be offered to immediate family members who have lost loved ones in an accident.

Under this insurance, you can access services from a:

  • – Clinical counsellor
  • – Physiotherapist
  • – Chiropractor
  • – Registered Massage Therapist
  • – Acupuncturist
  • – Psychologist
  • – Kinesiologist

While there is no limit on how many services you can access, ICBC does set limits on the amount they will cover per visit for each type of provider. For clinical counsellors this amount is $135 per visit. If your clinician’s fee is more than this, chances are they are aware of the price difference and will offer you sessions for the coverage price. Be sure to check with your provider before a session to confirm this and agree on any additional fees to be paid.

Nanaimo Counsellors: How do I access my 12 counselling sessions?

You do not need to purchase insurance with ICBC before an accident to be covered. You can begin seeking treatment immediately after an incident and do not need a doctor’s referral before starting the process.

  • 1. Report the crash to ICBC. This includes accidents involving cars, trucks, motorcycles, and other vehicles. To access no fault benefits, you must file an initial report as soon as possible after your crash. This ensures your claim is processed in a timely manner so you can receive your ICBC claim number and access the proper support and benefits.
  • 2. Book a counselling session immediately after your crash. Benefits are provided for 12 weeks after the accident, and it is important to start treatment as quickly as you can to make the most of your coverage. If your counsellor is registered with ICBC, they will be able to direct bill for services. If they do not have an ICBC vendor number, you will have to submit your own receipts for reimbursement.
  • 3. Your counsellor will create a treatment plan for you aimed at healing from the emotional and mental impact of the accident. Specific goals will be outlined

based on the status of your mental health and what you would like to achieve in sessions.

4. Your counsellor will provide a status update if asked by ICBC. They will discuss this with you, but by law they are required to provide it. It’s important to be aware of what will be disclosed to ICBC and have open conversations about it if you are unsure of the process.

What if I need support for longer than 12 weeks?

If you feel 12 weeks of treatment is not sufficient, your counsellor can make a request that coverage be extended. Do not hesitate to ask your clinician about this if you would like more time to work together. You may need a referral at this point, and this can be discussed with your ICBC claims adjuster.

Have you recently been impacted by an accident as a driver, pedestrian, family member, or cyclist? Reach out to us to learn more about how your sessions can be covered by ICBC at our clinic. Book here.

Written by Cat Zydyk

References:

ICBC (2023). ICBC fee guide for health care providers. https://www.icbc.com/partners/health-services/providers/Documents/ICBC-fee-guide-for-health-care-providers.pdf

Latitude Wellness. (2023). ICBC counselling coverage: Your guide to getting 12 pre-approved counselling sessions after your accident. https://www.latitude-wellness.com/blogs/icbc-counselling