You may experience a number of financial strains as the result of the death of a loved one in an accident in Ontario. Statutory accident benefits, including Death and Funeral Benefits, are intended to help alleviate some of this economic stress for you and your family.
You will be required to submit a completed Death and Funeral Benefits Application, known as OCF-4, when seeking compensation. Below are tips to help you properly complete this form.
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Tip 1: Understand the Benefits Available to You and Your Family
Assess your available benefits before you complete and submit the OCF-4.
Available benefits depend on the nature of your situation but generally are as follows:
- a maximum of $6,000 or $8,000 in funeral expenses;
- $25,000 or $50,000 in death benefits for a surviving spouse;
- $25,000 to equally share among dependants when there is no surviving spouse;
- $10,000 or $20,000 in death benefits if you were dependant upon the deceased; and
- $10,000 in death benefits may be available in certain cases where a dependant has died in an auto accident.
The maximum available benefit depends on the terms of the policy (optional benefits purchased) under which the deceased was insured.
Tip 2: Determine if You Qualify for Benefits
Death benefits and funeral reimbursement is available only to certain qualifying survivors. You may qualify if the person who died as a result of the accident was:
- your spouse;
- your former spouse (provided you were receiving maintenance or another form of court-ordered financial support);
- your parent, guardian or another person upon whom you were financially dependant; or
- dependant upon you (such as a child).
Your loved one must have died within 180 days of the accident for you to be eligible for death and funeral benefits. There are certain exceptions to this timeline, such as in cases where an injury resulted in continuous disability prior to the time of death.
Tip 3: Include Receipts to Verify Funeral Expenses
You should be able to provide original receipts or other documentation to prove all funeral expenses. You also should be prepared to offer detailed contact information about the supplier or service provider. You will be expected to provide a detailed explanation for any missing receipts or bills.
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Tip 4: Include Other Necessary Documentation
Your completed OCF-4 should include a copy of the death certificate. You also should submit a completed Application for Accident Benefits – this is necessary even if you are not seeking other types of benefits.
Tip 5: Be Honest and Detailed
Ensure there are no blank or incomplete portions of the OCF-4. At the same time, it is crucial that all information be honest and accurate to the best of your knowledge. Seek professional advice if you are unsure about any portion of the application. False or inaccurate information could result in the denial of the claim, fines or even imprisonment.
You have the right to hire a personal injury lawyer as you seek Accident Benefits and other compensation after a fatal accident in Ontario. Call 1-800-JUSTICE® to schedule a free case evaluation and learn more about your family’s options.