The OCF-6 Application for Expenses or Expenses Claim Form is the MOST IMPORTANT FORM to get paid back for your out of pocket expenses following a car or motor vehicle accident.
Immediately after a serious accident, the bills and expenses can quickly add up. Hospital parking is a fortune these days. Hospital meals, medication, the ambulance bill, damaged clothing, broken glasses, equipment rental for ramps, crutches, a wheelchair or simply purchasing a cheap cane from a drug store. All of these expenses quickly add up.
Some of the first questions from prospective clients isn’t how much their case is worth. It’s how can I get re-reimbursed for my out of pocket expenses?
I’ve always found this a bit odd; but I suppose it’s human nature. In the context of a multi million dollar claim, we are worried and insurers fight over the smaller $10 expenses; yet they are willing to pay out $1,500/month for attendant care benefits without issue; or pay out much larger amounts on a periodic basis.
In any event, the purpose of this Toronto Injury Lawyer Blog is to assist you in preparing your OCF-6 the right way, so that your out of pocket expense claims gets approved instead of denied.
The first thing you need to know about claiming your out of pocket expenses, is that it’s not as simple as telling the insurance company that you’ve lost money and would like it back.
Insurers, as with Courts, require EVIDENCE. That EVIDENCE, is provided in receipt form when it comes to out of pocket expenses. Our lawyers have seen some instances whereby the insurance adjuster simply pays out what the claimant says is owing. This sort of behaviour is very rare, and we have only seen it from one insurance company in particular. This is certainly not the norm. The reality is that you need to hold on to those receipts. No receipt: no money back. It’s that simple.
The insurer will require the ORIGINAL receipt. Sometimes, copies won’t do.
After you’ve gathered those receipts, it’s time to fill out the OCF-6 Expenses Claim Form. This form was prepared by the provincial government, and is available on the Goldfinger Personal Injury Law Website, or at the website of the Financial Services Commission of Ontario. Print out the OCF-6, but make sure it’s the current version. These forms are constantly changing. If you’re not sure that you’re using the most up to date version of the form, speak with your lawyer.
Part 1 of the OCF-6 form is very simple to complete. All you need to do is fill out your name, address, telephone number, birthday and your gender. It’s that simple. You likely don’t need a lawyer for that part of the form. It’s something which you ought to be able to do on your own provided that your injuries aren’t keeping you from reading or writing.
Part 2 of the OCF-6 form deals with the expenses themselves. The form requires you to name the “Item“. Name it like Bill, Receipt, Expense, Attendant Care, etc. Our lawyers have also seen people simply number this column. To be frank, having a column stating “Item” is rather ambiguous.
The next column is for the date which the expense or receipt was incurred. This should be simple enough, provided you’re able to keep track when you spent money on that item.
The next column requires a “description of goods and services and name of service provider“. This is probably the most important part of the form, as it requires you to describe what the invoice or receipt is all about. Is it an Attendant Care Service provided by your uncle or a professional service provider? Is it the cost of the Ambulance Bill? You have to list and describe the item here in this section. Don’t be restricted to just one line. Use more if necessary. You’re also able to attach sheets if necessary so that you’re not confined to the small space of the OCF-6 Claim Form.
The final column requires that you list the amount of money incurred on the expense. If the bill came to $50, then you list $50.
There is a disclaimer in Part 2 which states “Attach all bill and receipts. If a bill or receipt is not available, please explain. If you need more space, please attach additional sheets“. Again, the requirement for bills and receipts is very important on the OCF-6 claim form. Don’t forget them.
The final part of the OCF-6 Expenses Claim Form requires that you fill out the name of the Applicant, the signature of the Applicant, and the date the form was signed. You would be surprised at how many people FORGET to either sign, or date the OCF-6 claim form. Failing to sign the form means that the form is incomplete, and likely won’t be considered for re-payment by the insurer. This will just delay you getting your out of pocket expenses back.
Will all of my out of pocket expenses be repaid? We always hope that they are. But the reality of car insurance law in Ontario, is that the insurer holds most of the cards. In the interim, when you need the money the most, the insurer gets to act as Judge, Jury and Executioner when it comes to such items. In the long term, when, and only when the matter is before an Arbitrator at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO), or before a Judge; is when the insurer has do what the Court or Arbitrator decides. But it may take years to get to Court or Arbitration. So, it’s entirely possible that you’re waiting for your Court of Arbitration date for a very long time before you get your money back. To put it mildly, this really SUCKS for accident victims and their families who have to wait patiently for their day in Court. It’s possible for a lawyer to bring an interim emergency motion to have these expenses paid as well. But in some of those cases, the costs of doing so can be prohibitive. It could be a scenario whereby the lawyer is spending $5,000 in legal costs in a $750 issue.