Compensation for an accident usually comes in two phases: “Section B” and “Section A”. Section B benefits are provided by your own insurer, and you can apply for them immediately after an accident. They can cover the following expenses:
- Medical and rehabilitation benefits
- Income replacement / Loss of income payments
- Housekeeping and home maintenance
Medical care after an accident
Your Section B accident benefits cover a wide range of expenses, including:
- massage therapy
- prescription medications
- medical equipment
- walkers, wheelchairs and crutches
- ambulance bills
- home modifications
- gym memberships
If your injury prevents you from returning to work, your insurer 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;
- Your injuries kept you from working 7 days out of the 30 days following the accident; and
- 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 return to your job (or work in a related position elsewhere). After two years – if a doctor determines that you are still unable to return to work – it’s up to the insurance company to prove that you can work, before terminating your benefits. In short, after two years you are assumed permanently unable to work unless proven otherwise by the insurer.
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 – snow removal, mowing the lawn, etc. You cannot qualify for weekly loss of income payments and housekeeping expenses – it has to be one or the other.