If you suffer from injuries following a Motor Vehicle Accident, there may be sources of benefits available to you during the time before you receive a settlement from the insurance company.
The first source you may have at your disposal is workplace benefits. You will have to use these before being eligible for benefits from another source. These may include sick days, vacation days and any short-term disability plan, as well as any private medical plan that will cover the cost of medications, rehabilitation at medical clinics and other medical expenses.
EI Sickness benefits
You may qualify for Employment Insurance or Sickness Benefits through the Government of Canada. These can provide you with up to 15 weeks of benefits that usually provide up to 55% of your weekly income.
LTD Insurance benefits
You may be eligible to make a claim for long-term disability benefits if you are insured under a long-term disability insurance policy. People sometimes buy these policies directly from a broker, while others have it as a part of their workplace benefits. LTD insurance helps replace lost income if you can’t work. There are deadlines that limit the time you have to apply; if you have LTD coverage, look into it as soon as possible.
CPP Disability benefits
If you have been a recent contributor to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), you may be entitled to CPP disability benefits, which are a monthly payment made to you until age 65. The amount you receive is determined by how much you paid into CPP while you were working.
Motor vehicle insurance
If your spinal cord injury was sustained in a motor vehicle accident, you would have access to benefits through your own insurance company (known as Section B benefits). These may include:
Your motor vehicle accident benefits can cover a wide range of expenses, including:
- Physiotherapy and chiropractic
- Massage therapy
- Prescription medications
- Medical equipment
- Ambulance bills
- Home modifications
- Gym memberships
If your injury prevents you from returning to work, your insurance company is required to pay for vocational rehabilitation, return-to-work programs, and modifications to your workspace. Medical and rehabilitation benefits last up to 4 years or until you reach a maximum amount, whichever comes first (like a car warranty). The maximum benefits vary for each province:
New Brunswick: $50,000
Nova Scotia: $50,000
Prince Edward Island: $25,000
Weekly loss of income payments
If your injuries keep you from working, you may qualify for weekly loss of income payments. The payments are 80% of your weekly income, up to a maximum of $140 or $250, depending on your province:
New Brunswick: maximum of $250 per week
Nova Scotia: maximum of $250 per week
Prince Edward Island: maximum of $140 per week
In order to qualify for weekly loss of income payments, you must meet the following criteria:
- You were employed at the time of the accident (or you had arranged to start a new job soon), or you were employed for 6 of the 12 months before the accident.
- There were at least 7 days – out of the 30 days following the accident – when you were medically unfit to work
- You have not returned to work, or are earning less money because of your injuries.
Duration of loss of income payments
The duration of loss of income payments is determined by your ability to return to work. For the first two years, you must prove that you are unable to perform the essential duties of your own job. After two years, you must prove that you can work in a job that you qualify for based on your experience, training and background.
Housekeeping and home maintenance benefits
If you were not employed at the time of the accident and you are a homemaker, then you may qualify for payments for housekeeping services . You cannot qualify for weekly loss of income payments and housekeeping expenses – it has to be one or the other.
Some injuries may be particularly expensive to treat, and medical benefits (from Section B or CPP) tend to be used up very quickly. In the case of a motor vehicle accident the other driver’s policy may not provide enough compensation for your long-term care, in which case you should see a lawyer to determine which other sources of funds may be available.
Cantini Law|Droit has been helping clients who have suffered injuries from car accidents for over 28 years. Contact Us today at 1-800-606-2529.