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Funding for Therapy and Counselling

If you’ve been sexually abused by a doctor, you may qualify for financial help to see a therapist or counsellor.

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To qualify, you need to meet one of these criteria:

  1. You have made a complaint to the College (or someone has made a report to the College) of sexual abuse.
  2. Our Discipline Committee agreed that you were sexually abused.
  3. The doctor admits to the College that they sexually abused you.
  4. The doctor is convicted under the Criminal Code of Canada of sexually assaulting you.
  5. A College Committee makes a statement following a hearing that you were sexually abused.
  6. There is evidence to support a reasonable belief that a doctor sexually abused you.

Application Process

To apply for funding for therapy and counselling, you must first complete Form A: Funding Application and submit your application via mail (Attn: “Therapy Fund”) or via email at [email protected].

The College’s Patient Relations Committee (PRC) will review your application to ensure you meet one of the above criteria to qualify for funding.

Once we receive your completed application, we will let you know when your application will be reviewed by the PRC and then will contact you shortly after the PRC has made a decision.

Funding Forms

Form A: Funding Application / Formulaire A – Demande de financement

You need to complete this form in order to apply for funding for therapy and counselling.

The information you provide in this form helps our team determine which of the criteria your application will be reviewed under.

Please note you do not need to have a therapist or counsellor to apply for funding.

Form B: Billing Information / Formulaire B – Renseignements de facturation

This form only needs to be completed by your therapist or counsellor if they plan to invoice the College directly for your therapy or counselling sessions, and it must be completed before invoices can be paid.

If you already have chosen a therapist or counsellor, you can submit this form at the same time as Form A. If you haven’t, you can submit it after the PRC has made a decision regarding your eligibility and you have chosen a therapist or counsellor.

Form C: Reimbursement Request / Formulaire C – Demande de remboursement

You can complete this form to request reimbursement for therapy or counselling costs you paid for out-of-pocket, including incidental costs directly related to accessing your sessions.

Please note that you need to provide us with invoices or receipts for reimbursement requests.

Please contact us before seeing a new therapist or counsellor or paying out-of-pocket for therapy or counselling sessions. Depending on the nature of the therapy or counselling, your request may need to be considered by the PRC.

More Information

Who will review my funding application?

The Patient Relations Committee (PRC) is responsible for overseeing the funding for therapy and counselling program for patients who have been sexually abused by a doctor.

The PRC is comprised of both physicians and members of the public, all of whom have experience with working with survivors of sexual abuse.

With the support of College staff, the PRC reviews each funding application and determines whether the applicant meets the eligibility criteria and the amount of funding that is to be awarded for therapy and counselling.

Do I need to make a complaint in order to qualify for funding?

No, you do not need to make a complaint to qualify for funding.

The PRC will review the information you provide as part of your application to determine your eligibility for funding.

Our team helps the PRC with their review by summarising the information we have about your allegation and any other information we have about your doctor. Sometimes this means our team will need to reach out to you to get more information to help the PRC make its decision.

I have made a complaint to the College regarding the alleged sexual abuse. Do I have to wait until the complaints or discipline process has concluded before applying for funding?

No. You do not have to wait until the complaints or discipline process has concluded.

You can apply for funding for therapy and counselling at any time. In fact, filing a complaint with the College alleging that a doctor has sexually abused you while you were a patient is one of the eligibility criteria for receiving funding.

How do I apply for funding for therapy and counselling? Where do I send my application?

In order to be considered for funding, you will need to complete an application form (Form A) to provide the PRC with the information they need in order to assess your eligibility. You do not need to have a therapist or counsellor already in place in order to apply for funding.

Your application can be submitted via mail or email. You can also download the fillable application form (Form A) and email your completed forms to us.

What happens after I apply for funding?

Our team will contact you to confirm receipt of your application, answer any questions you may have, and will tell you whether any additional information is required. You will also be notified of the timelines associated with the PRC’s review of your application.

Staff will contact you shortly after your application is reviewed to inform you of the PRC’s decision.

How does the billing process work?

If your therapist or counsellor wishes to invoice the College directly for your therapy and counselling sessions, we will help them set up that process. This starts with your therapist or counsellor completing a Form B with their billing information.

You can also pay for your therapy or counselling sessions out-of-pocket and then request reimbursement using Form C: Reimbursement Request. Please note that invoices or receipts for the therapy or counselling sessions must be provided with Form C.

If you do not have copies of the invoices or receipts, you can submit an affidavit sworn by your therapist or counsellor in front of a commissioner of oaths in place of the invoices or receipts.

Transportation, accommodation, childcare or other incidental costs incurred directly as a result of attending therapy or counselling can also be considered by the PRC on a case-by-case basis using Form C.

Invoices can be submitted via mail or email. Once received with your completed Form C, the College will process the invoice and mail a cheque to you for the same amount within 30 days of receipt.

 

Please contact us before seeing a new therapist or counsellor or paying out-of-pocket for therapy or counselling sessions. Depending on the nature of the therapy or counselling, your request may need to be considered by the PRC.

 

Can I be reimbursed for therapy or counselling I attended before applying for funding?

Yes, you can request reimbursement for therapy or counselling costs that you have personally incurred out-of-pocket following the alleged sexual abuse by submitting Form C: Reimbursement Request.

Invoices or receipts must be provided with the completed Form C.

Will the doctor find out if I’ve applied for funding?

If a discipline hearing against the doctor is pending, disclosure obligations may require that the doctor receives a copy of your funding application. We will not disclose your contact information or the name or contact information of any therapist or counsellor that you have provided with your application.

If the College’s Discipline Committee orders recovery of the costs of therapy from the doctor, the doctor will be required to post security for the funding and will be notified when you receive reimbursement.

Does the applicant have to meet with the PRC?

No. The PRC undertakes a documentation review only.

Depending on which criteria your application is considered under, our team may have to ask you for information about your allegation to support your application.

Is there a requirement for a psychological assessment to support the need for therapy?

No, nor should your therapist or counsellor provide updates on your progress during therapy or counselling.

What else should I know about the application process?

You and your therapist or counsellor must keep all information obtained through the application for funding process, including the fact that funding has been granted and the reasons given by the PRC for granting the funding, confidential.

Furthermore, a decision by the PRC that you are eligible for funding does not constitute a finding of professional misconduct against the member and shall not be considered by any other Committee of the College dealing with the matter.

How much funding is available?

The legislation sets out a maximum amount of funding that can be awarded (approximately $16,000).

If the services being used are also covered by OHIP or a private insurance plan, these sources of funding must be used first and the College would only pay the amount not covered.

Are there any restrictions on how I use the funding?

Yes. The funding must only be used to pay for therapy and counselling and incidental costs incurred directly as a result of attending your therapy or counselling sessions.

The PRC will consider funding requests on a case-by-case basis.

Before seeing a new therapist or counsellor or starting a new type of therapy or counselling, please contact us to confirm if the services require PRC approval.

The following costs are not paid for by the College: medication (e.g. prescriptions, vitamins, or supplements), charges for late or missed appointments, and preparation of third party reports.

Is there a time limit on using the funding?

Yes. The legislation states that the funding can only be provided for a period of five years.

If you request reimbursement for past therapy or counselling costs (Form C: Reimbursement Request), the five-year period will begin on the date you first received therapy or counselling. Otherwise, the five-year period will begin on the day you become eligible for funding.

Are there any restrictions on which therapist or counsellor I use?

Yes. Even though you have a choice as to which therapist or counsellor you would like to see, there are some restrictions. The therapist or counsellor cannot have any family relationship with you and cannot have been found guilty of professional misconduct of a sexual nature or been found liable in court for an act of a similar nature.

You can select a therapist or counsellor who is not a regulated health professional; however, you will be asked to verify that you understand that there is no avenue for professional discipline. If you would like to see a therapist or counsellor who is not a registered member of a regulated health profession, the PRC must review these requests before payment can be made.

Can I use more than one therapist or counsellor?

Yes, up to the maximum dollar amount awarded by the PRC within the five-year timeframe.

How will I know the status of my funding account?

Our team will send you a letter once a year keeping you informed as to how much money is left for the costs of your therapy or counselling.

The funding for therapy and counselling is meant to assist you in dealing with the effects of sexual abuse by a physician.

There are many types of therapists/counsellors that can be extremely helpful, and it can be a difficult choice.

So, how do you go about your search to find the right therapist/counsellor? Here are some useful tips to guide you through this process.

Does the therapist/counsellor have expertise in treating the effects of sexual abuse?

Previous training or experience can demonstrate that the therapist/counsellor knows how to provide you with treatment. In thinking about this point, you may want to consider whether the therapist/counsellor has:

  1. a degree, certificate or diploma from a university or recognized program that trains individuals to deal with those who have been sexually abused;
  2. worked with another person who regularly treats individuals who have been sexually abused;
  3. themselves previously treated individuals who have been sexually abused.

If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above, it could mean that the therapist or counsellor will not be able to provide you with the most useful treatment. It is most important that your therapist/counsellor has the ability to help you deal with any of the effects of sexual abuse.

Do I feel comfortable meeting with the therapist/counsellor?

If you feel that the treatment is safe and that you will not be hurt in the process, you will likely feel comfortable attending a session with your therapist/counsellor.

As part of feeling comfortable with your therapist, you may want to consider whether your treatment will include:

  • discussing your past;
  • discussing the nature of the sexual abuse;
  • touching, of some form; and/or
  • taking any kind of medicine (your funds may not be used to cover the cost of medicine).

How many sessions will the therapy or counselling require?

The therapist/counsellor’s experience should allow him or her to estimate the number of sessions you need. As you are only entitled to a maximum of approximately $16,000, you must pay the difference if your therapy costs exceed this amount.

Does the therapist/counsellor have a previous record of any kind of sexual abuse?

You must not see a therapist or counsellor who has a previous record of any kind of sexual abuse.

In fact, your therapist/counsellor must complete a form (Form B: Billing Information) from the College confirming that he or she has never been guilty of this kind of offence.

Is the therapist or counsellor a registered member of a regulated health profession under the Regulated Health Professions Act, 1991?

You can ask your therapist or counsellor if they are a member of a regulated health profession. For example, in this province, psychologists are members of the College of Psychologists of Ontario and registered massage therapists are members of the College of Massage Therapists of Ontario. This means that:

  • the therapist or counsellor has a certificate of registration from a regulating body;
  • you can contact the regulating body if you have any concerns about the therapist/counsellor’s conduct;
  • the regulating body may investigate the therapist/counsellor if his or her conduct falls below the profession’s standard of practice;
  • you have people to contact if you feel uncomfortable about your therapist/counsellor’s way of providing treatment.

If the therapist/counsellor is not a registered member of a regulated health profession, you have no way of knowing whether he or she is appropriately qualified to practice. You may also not have a governing body to contact if you have concerns about the therapist’s conduct or skills.

 

If you would like to see a therapist/counsellor who is not a registered member of a regulated health profession, the Patient Relations Committee (PRC) must review these requests before invoices or reimbursement requests can be processed. Please contact us if you would like help submitting these requests.

Need help? Contact us

Therapy Fund

Phone: (416) 967-2644, ext. 211 / 1-800-268-7096 ext. 211

Email: [email protected]

College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario
(Attn: “Therapy Fund”)
80 College Street
Toronto, ON  M5G 2E2

We can:

  • Send you a hard copy of the application package;
  • Answer your questions and assist you with completing your application;
  • Help you email the completed electronic application form in a secure way to protect the confidentiality of your information;
  • Help you with submitting requests for past costs; or
  • Go over the billing process with your therapist or counsellor.