Tips for Filling Out the OCF-5: Permission to Disclose Health Information
In the course of applying for Statutory Accident Benefits, you may be asked to submit an OCF-5. This form is otherwise known as the Permission to Disclose Health Information.
Disclosing your health information may have an unintended effect on your accident claim, including the loss or reduction of certain benefits. Ensure you understand what is involved in the OCF-5 before completing and submitting this form to your insurance company. Below are four tips to help you properly complete this document.
Tip 1 – Do not submit an OCF-5 unless asked to do so
The Permission to Disclose Health Information form will be included in the Application for Accident Benefits Package sent to you by your insurance company. They will send you these documents when you notify them of your accident within seven days of the incident. Its inclusion in the package does not mean you must include the document in your completed application.
Do not complete and submit an OCF-5 unless the insurance company specifically asks you to do so. Ask your insurance representative which records the company requires and why it needs them. The request from the insurance company should be limited to only relevant documentation relating to the accident. This can include some but not all pre-accident records.
If your insurance provider asks you to submit an OCF-5, contact our Ontario accident benefits lawyers and take advantage of a free initial initial consultation.
Tip 2 – Understand what is involved in the OCF-5
The OCF-5 grants the insurance company access to your medical records. It does so by granting permission to your healthcare provider to disclose such information to an insurer, social worker or vocational rehabilitation expert.
Note that this document does not grant your insurance company the permission to conduct an independent medical examination. You must grant that authorization in a separate document.
Unfortunately, some medical practitioners do not read the OCF-5 form carefully and inadvertently forward your entire medical chart. This could end up impacting your claim.
Tip 3 – Specify which dates are included in the disclosure
Do not grant unlimited access to your full medical history when submitting an OCF-5. Instead, specify the dates for which you are granting access for review. For instance, you may include the date of the accident up to the present. This limits the insurance provider’s authority to examine your medical history for pre-existing conditions or other information. An insurance company can use such details to diminish or deny a claim for benefits.
Tip 4 – Speak with a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible
If your insurance provider requests and OCF-5 from you before assessing your claim for accident benefits, it may be important to check with Preszler Injury Lawyers before doing so. Consider booking a free initial consultation with our Ontario accident benefits lawyers to learn about options that might be available to you. To get in touch with our accident benefits lawyers serving Ontario, call 1-800-JUSTICE.