2014 Amendments to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule
Accident Benefits are one of the most vital financial resources at the disposal of car accident victims in Ontario. Amendments to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule impact your ability to collect certain benefits and how those benefits are calculated.
Several new amendments went into effect on February 1, 2014, and further diminish your accident benefits entitlements. Consult your personal injury lawyer if you are concerned you no longer will receive the compensation you require to make a full recovery from accident injuries.
The Latest Changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule
On February 1, 2014, Ontario Regulation 34/10 was amended to include several new laws relevant to motor vehicle accident victims. The amendments include:
- New requirements for those with pre-existing conditions and minor accident injuries – Claimants seeking Medical and Rehabilitation Benefits for an injury classified as “minor” should understand the new regulations for pre-existing conditions. The law now requires your health practitioner to provide evidence that verifies the existence of your pre-existing condition in order for your injuries to not to be classified under the Minor Injury Guideline. This must include pre-accident documentation verifying your claim. Previously, it was sufficient for your health practitioner simply to state you had a pre-existing condition that would impact your ability to rehabilitate after injury.
- Changes to the Attendant Care Benefit – The Attendant Care Benefit no longer may exceed the actual economic loss of a person providing attendant care services to a claimant. This change affects claimants whose family members provide care during recovery and who may suffer only minimal income loss as a result of such care.
- Finality of the election of benefits – This amendment requires you to make a final, initial decision about whether to file for Income Replace Benefits, Non-Earner Benefits or Caregiver Benefits. This is true even if you qualify for more than one benefit. Further, you may not change your selection, even if you experience a change in circumstances in either your career or lifestyle.
What to Expect in Light of Recent Changes to the SABS
The recent amendments to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule do not alter the basic function of Accident Benefits. This no-fault system remains one of your most important means of economic recovery in the face of an accident. Available benefits include money to address:
- loss of income;
- medical bills (above and beyond what is covered by OHIP or a private insurer);
- rehabilitation costs (such as physical and occupational therapy);
- out-of-pocket, accident-related expenses;
- attendant care; and
These new amendments do, however, highlight the importance of understanding and adhering to all requirements outlined in the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. Otherwise, a claimant can miss out on valuable compensation and available resources.
Learn more about how these latest changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule will impact your own claim for benefits. Request a free case consultation today with Preszler Injury Lawyers in Ontario – 1-800-JUSTICE® or contact us online.