Doctors and other treatment providers are an integral part of any personal injury claim. After an injury, your patients may apply for accident benefits from their auto insurance company, and in Ontario, this requires completing OCF forms. Knowing how to complete this paperwork accurately helps ensure those in your care have the financial support they need to heal both physically and mentally.
Auto insurance companies require OCF forms to complete an accident benefits claim. Patients and their health practitioner must complete and submit these documents to process the claim.
“When a family physician fills out an OCF form on your behalf, he/she can also submit, at the same time, an invoice for completing the forms.” — Health Locator (https://healthlocator.ca/what-are-ocf-forms/)
Not all OCF forms need your input, such as the Employer’s Confirmation of Income (OCF-2), but others relate specifically to injuries and treatment, such as the OCF-1 Application for Accident Benefits, the Disability Certificate (OCF-3), and Activities of Normal Life (OCF-12). The more accurate the information on these documents, the better chance your patient will have getting the financial help they need to support their recovery.
The OCF-1 Application for Accident Benefits, is the first step for your patient to make an accident claim. The OCF-1 collects general information such as details of the incident, insurance, and employment, but also includes a small section for injuries and the health practitioner’s contact information. Your patients may need assistance completing the medical section of the Application for Accident Benefits.
The insurance company may request an OCF-3 form. Certain types of health practitioners are allowed to help complete this paperwork. Use this document to assess accident-related injuries and outline if there is any disability preventing your patient from returning to work, caregiving, education, household maintenance, and normal life. Also specify the disability’s duration.
Ensure the OCF form includes all physical and psychological injuries in detail. You should especially address disability-related areas like “ability to work” and “inability to carry on a normal life” since these can affect the benefit amount.
As part of the OCF-3 form, you must review and examine any pre-existing injuries. This helps rule out barriers to recovery. Also outline medication your patient used prior to and after the accident, and any change in dosage and frequency. You should include any further investigations and consultations required for treatment.
The insurer uses these OCF forms to determine entitlement to and payment of specific accident benefits, including Income Replacement Benefits and Non-Earner Benefits.
Your patient must complete their OCF-3 form as soon as possible so they can receive their benefits. Helping complete this paperwork accurately and with detail ensures those in your care get the financial help they need as they recover medically.
The three-page OCF-12 form helps identify the ability or inability to carry on normal life activities. Insurers use the document to determine if an accident victim will receive the Non-Earner Benefit, but they may not always request the OCF-12.
Physical activities on these OCF forms include personal care including bathing and dressing, functional abilities such as walking and driving, shopping, preparing and eating meals, performing cleaning and laundry, and shoveling snow and other home maintenance activities. The document also addresses cognitive abilities including balancing a checkbook and controlling emotion and behaviour.
You and your patient should complete the OCF-12 together. Review each activity on the list and specify your patient’s ability to complete the task before and after the accident. The options are “can do all”, “can do partially”, “can do with help”, and “cannot do” for each activity.
Insurers rely on these OCF forms to determine how much your patient’s daily life is affected by a personal injury. This in turn determines the amount of financial support they receive.
Without an OCF-12, the insurer will not process the Non-Earner benefit. When you assist your patient in completing the paperwork, you provide an accurate picture of their abilities and limitations, helping ensure they get the financial benefits they need for recovery.
While you are helping your patient with their physical and mental recovery, also assisting them with their application for accident benefits can alleviate financial stress and anxiety. Reducing financial worries helps them focus on their rehabilitation and ensure they get the best care possible.
If you need more information on the OCF-1 and other OCF forms, consult our content library. To refer an accident victim or to learn more, contact Gosai Law.