Subsection 279(4.1) of the Insurance Act gives the provision for interim accident benefits, or temporary benefits while the final order for statutory accident benefits is pending. Although not commonplace, the statutes provide: “The Director and every arbitrator appointed by the Director may make interim orders pending the final order in any matter before the Director or arbitrator.”
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Are you entitled to interim benefits?
The above statute is the foundation for interim benefits, and it is distinctly vague. The law gives no prerequisites for obtaining interim benefits other than that an arbitrator has been appointed. However, judges do take several other factors into consideration when determining whether or not to grant interim benefits, such as:
- the insured’s level of need;
- the urgency of the case;
- financial hardships; and
- neglect or inappropriateness on the part of the insurer.
Your lawyer can look over your situation and help determine if you might be eligible for interim benefits. If it seems likely that you are eligible, your lawyer can draft and submit a formal motion, asking the arbitrator to grant you temporary benefits until your case is resolved.
Types of Interim Benefits
Because the statutes don’t specify details, it’s presumable that any type of pertinent statutory accident benefit might pertain to interim benefit requests. For instance, in Ms. T.N. v. Personal Insurance Company of Canada (PICC), Arbitrator Suesan Alves granted Ms. T.N’s motion for interim benefits, ordering that the PICC pay her $3,371.20 per month in attendant care benefits until the final decision.
In another case, Bui v. State Farm, Bui filed a motion for interim benefits because he felt he was due benefits that were held from him unreasonably. He claimed he was entitled to interim benefits as a result of his deteriorating finances and his family’s need for support. Arbitrator John Wilson ordered State Farm to pay Mr. Bui $185 per week.
As a final example of successful interim benefits motions, in Hotchkiss v. Kingsway General Insurance, Arbitrator Wilson ordered the insurance company to pay Mr. Hotchkiss $185 per week and an attendant care benefit of $5,910.80 per month plus legal fees, primarily because of insurer misconduct.
Preszler Law Can Help Obtain Your Benefits
When you’ve been injured and are unable – whether temporarily or permanently – to return to work and support your family, it’s crucial to investigate all possible forms of compensation before your financial situation spirals out of control. You might be entitled to workers’ compensation, disability benefits, insurance benefits, and settlements from claims against negligent third parties.
If you have recently suffered an injury and are struggling to make ends meet while awaiting a decision, obtaining interim benefits might be an option. We invite you to call our firm in Ontario to schedule a case evaluation. We can look over your situation, determine you options, and advise you on the best and most expeditious way to proceed.
Contact the Preszler Law Firm today at 1-800-JUSTICE® to schedule a free consultation.