Is The Fear of Paying for Occupational Therapy Treatment Holding You Back?

how to get payed for occupational therapy

Is The Fear of Paying for Occupational Therapy Treatment Holding You Back?

August 11, 2013 - 7:25 pm
Do you wonder about paying for private Occupational Therapy treatment?


When does Occupational Therapy help?

  • If you have an illness, injury, disease or disability that that interfere with your ability, your child’s ability or your senior parent’s ability to do the things that are important in daily life you may wish for nothing more than health and well-being.

Did you know?

  • If you, your child or senior parent are having difficulty taking care of yourselves, going to work, going to school or enjoying leisure pursuits or sports then an Occupational Therapist can help you learn new skills for the job of living!


  • When you are not able to do the things you want, or need to do, to live and enjoy your life, your health and well-being are affected.   Unfortunately, I do still find that many people may think they cannot afford professional help like Occupational Therapy.


  • Infants, children, adults and seniors benefit from Occupational Therapy.  The good news is the cost is far lower and more reasonable than many believe.  I believe, your health and well-being are worth the investment in Occupational Therapy to help.


  • I also believe occupational therapy is worth paying for out-of-pocket, even if someone else isn’t going to reimburse or pay for you or your senior parent or your spouse to receive Occupational Therapy treatment.


Paying for Occupational Therapy
Paying for Occupational Therapy

My personal story with Occupational Therapy treatment.


  • Even though I am an Occupational Therapist (OT) myself, I required OT treatment after having hand surgery a few years ago.


  • I received pre and post-surgery splinting, education and treatment from public, out-patient, hospital based Occupational Therapy.


  • Did I have to pay for it? Some public Occupational Therapy post-operatively was provided by Medicare which pays for public Occupational Therapy in Canada.  I was able to treat myself with my own private Occupational Therapy practice at TOTAL ABILITY. And I didn't have to pay myself to treat myself!


  • But, would I have paid for the ALL the Occupational Therapy I received?  Yes, I would have paid for private Occupational Therapy like that available at TOTAL ABILITY  had there been a waiting list for public Occupational Therapy or had no public Occupational Therapy been available, I would have readily paid out of pocket for Occupational Therapy.


  • Why?  The reason I am able to type this blog today is because I saw an Occupational Therapist before and after my hand surgery. I would have limited left hand function and limited ability without it, despite having an excellent surgical team.


  • Private Occupational Therapy would have cost me a several hundred dollars.  Less than I pay for my hairstyling over the course of a year.  I think I am worth it!


Insurance Plans, Tax Credits and Other Payment Options in Canada for Private Occupational Therapy like TOTAL ABILITY


  • When my team and I offer children’s Occupational Therapy treatment groups such as social skills or handwriting camps at we ensure they meet the criteria for CRA’s art tax credit or fitness tax credit for children.


  • Occupational Therapy in some provinces, is a tax deductible medical expense. Canadians should check with the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA)

Did you know?


  • There is also a disability tax credit for Canadians.  It is not diagnosis based and applies to individuals who have a severe and prolonged impairment in physical or mental functions that are expected to last for at least 12 months.  The impairment in function includes those in speaking, feeding, hearing, dressing, walking and bladder and bowel elimination.


  • Occupational Therapists are able to complete the disability tax credit certificate for individuals who have impairment in the areas of feeding, dressing and walking.  We often complete this certificate as part of our Occupational Therapy treatment.  Many new clients ask us to assess them for their disability tax credit application too.


  • Many of the parents of children, employers and children of senior parents who we see for Occupational Therapy treatment in Saint John, Fredericton and Moncton pay out of pocket for occupational therapy assessment and treatment.


  • Some people save funds from their disability tax credit for therapy.


  • Some people are reimbursed by extended health insurance or a health spending account from their health insurance.


  • Some parents approach community organizations such as Shriner’s, Lions Club, Rotary, their professional Union or their church group for help with the costs of therapy.  Some parents and individuals ask for help and advocacy from their social worker or case manager.


  • Many adults who seek private Occupational Therapy help also pay out of pocket. 


  • Some employers provide Occupational Therapy treatment at work as a proactive measure to help prevent employees needing time off work.


  • Some adults are eligible for Occupational Therapy help at home or work from the Department of National Defence for serving Canadian Armed Forces members and Veterans Affairs Canada for Canadian Armed Forces veterans through their programs.


  • Some adults and children receive Occupational Therapy treatment after a motor vehicle accident through their motor vehicle accident insurance.


  • Some adults receive Occupational Therapy as part of their long term disability plan.


  • Some adults and children receive Occupational Therapy help from other provincial or federal social or disability programs.


  • Seniors who seek Occupational Therapy help also pay out of pocket and sometimes their children gift Occupational Therapy treatment to them!


In my career as an OT, I have had the privilege of helping thousands of clients from all walks of life. The joy of making a difference in someone’s life with Occupational Therapy is what keeps my team  of Occupational Therapists and I wanting to help.


Share in comments below what resources you have used to pay for private Occupational Therapy treatment?

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