What You Should Know About Attendant Care Benefits in Ontario
Accepting help from others can be difficult. Many survivors of severe car accidents may resent requiring the assistance of relatives, friends, and attendant care providers to perform the routine functions of daily life. But in the aftermath of a traumatic motor vehicle collision, car accident victims who have sustained catastrophic injuries need all the support they can get.
Even car accident survivors who have a robust network of support from family and friends may require the assistance of a personal support worker (PSW) or attendant to help them carry out regular, necessary activities. Receiving assistance from an attendant or PSW can help severely injured car crash survivors maintain their dignity and comfort in the wake of a life-changing accident.
Of course, the prospect of paying for attendant care after an injury can be nerve wracking. The cost of hiring a PSW on a regular basis can be financially devastating for accident survivors and their families. This is especially true for car accident victims who require live-in support, who must also provide their attendant with room and board in addition to their regular fees.
However, people who sustained their injuries in a car crash could be entitled to attendant care benefits to help them cover these essential costs. All drivers in the province are legally required to have the minimum basic auto insurance coverage as stipulated by the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS). In accordance with the SABS, all basic auto insurance plans include coverage for attendant care benefits.
Depending on the circumstances of your collision, your insurance provider or the company who insures the driver responsible for your accident could provide you with attendant care benefits, if the services of a PSW are considered necessary and reasonable. Accident benefits might be available if your injuries fall outside the parameters of the province’s Minor Injury Guideline.
What Do Attendant Care Benefits Cover?
Attendant care benefits provide severely injured car accident victims with payments to offset reasonable and necessary costs of care that have been incurred as a result of a motor vehicle collision. The benefits payment could be put towards the costs of employing a PSW or attendant, as well as the costs associated with staying in a long-term care facility.
Sometimes, family and friends provide necessary assistance to their injured loved ones. However, they generally cannot be paid for their services using attendant care benefits unless they could prove that they suffered economic losses as a result of providing support to the injured accident victim. Usually, attendant care benefits are used to pay for the services of a professional who assists injured car crash survivors with necessary functions, including:
- Using the bathroom
- Grooming and bathing
- Meal preparation
- Getting dressed
- Administering medication
- Assisting with prosthetics
- Traveling to and from medical appointments
- And possibly more
How Much Money Might Be Available?
The amount of attendant care benefits available to injured car accident survivors is based on the individual’s needs. While some drivers elect to purchase additional, optional coverage, basic auto insurance plans include provisions for accident benefits based on the type of injuries sustained by the claimant.
The combined maximum amount of medical, rehabilitation, and attendant care benefits included in basic insurance plans are as follows:
- Claimants who sustained non-minor, non-catastrophic injuries can receive a combined maximum of $3,000 per month for a maximum of 5 years from the date of their injury, up to a total of $65,000.
- Claimants who sustained catastrophic injuries can receive up to $1 million in combined benefits, paid monthly in increments of up to $6,000.
Are You Eligible for Attendant Care Benefits?
In order to qualify for attendant care benefits, your non-minor injuries must be assessed by a registered nurse or occupational therapist who determines that professional assistance of a PSW or attendant is reasonable and necessary. This medical professional can complete an Assessment of Attendant Care Needs (Form 1) which must be sent to the injured car accident victim’s insurance company. Once received, the insurer has 10 business days to respond to the assessment.
Unfortunately, insurance companies do not always approve claims for attendant care benefits. They might deny a benefits claim outright, or provide insufficiently low payment amounts to severely injured accident survivors.
That is why working with an Ontario car accident lawyer can be so important. Our car accident lawyers serving all of Ontario have combined decades’ of experience assisting clients with their claims for attendant care benefits to help them receive the coverage they deserve. Additionally, our Ontario car accident lawyers provide crucial assistance to clients whose claims for attendant care benefits have been unfairly denied.
To learn more about how our car accident lawyers serving Ontario may be able to assist you, contact us online or call 1-800-JUSTICE to receive a free initial consultation.