Victims of motor vehicle accidents are often unable to work for some time following an accident due to their injuries. For some people, it may be a matter of days or weeks, while others require more time to recover and, in very unfortunate cases, some may never return to work. Regardless of whether you are unable to work for a month or a lifetime, the stress and worry that a lost paycheck can cause are undeniable.
In Ontario, you may be entitled to statutory income replacement benefits if you are injured in a motor vehicle accident. Entitlement to income replacement benefits can be complicated (and the calculation even more so), so it is important to speak with a skilled personal injury lawyer in Ontario following an accident to understand your entitlement to income loss benefits and ensure your application is managed promptly and effectively.
Under Ontario’s Insurance Act, injured persons who are unable to work following an accident are entitled to income replacement benefits pending the resolution of their dispute. This means that you are eligible to receive the statutory accident benefits to which you are entitled without having to wait for your case to settle or go to court.
Am I Eligible for Statutory Accident Benefits for Lost Wages?
To be eligible for statutory accident benefits, a person must satisfy one of the following criteria:
- They were employed at the time of the accident and suffered a substantial inability to perform the essential tasks or their employment as a result of and within two years of the accident; or
- They were unemployed at the time of the accident but had been employed for at least half of the year before the accident or had been receiving Employment Insurance benefits at the time of the accident, and
- Became substantially unable to perform the essential tasks of the type of employment they performed in the year prior to the accident as a result of and within two years of the accident.
- If the person was self-employed, they must have suffered a substantial inability to perform the essential tasks of their self-employment within two years of the accident.
How Long Can I Expect to Receive Statutory Accident Benefits for Lost Wages?
If a person is eligible for statutory accident benefits, their insurer will pay income replacement benefits “for the period in which the insured person suffers a substantial inability to perform the essential tasks of his or her employment or self-employment.”
Note that the insurer is not required to pay income replacement benefits for:
- the first week of the disability or
- after two years of disability unless, as a result of the accident, the insured person is suffering a complete inability to engage in any employment or self-employment for which he or she is reasonably suited by education, training or experience.
Remember that you are still eligible for income replacement benefits if you return to work and, at a later point within the two years following the accident, you become unable to continue your employment or self-employment due to injuries arising from the accident.
How Much Can I Expect to Receive for Statutory Accident Benefits for Lost Wages?
Typically, your income replacement benefits will cover 70% of your gross employment income (your income before taxes and other deductions) minus income replacement assistance from other sources (e.g., your employer) to a maximum of $400 per week. Depending on your insurance policy, you may be entitled to a higher amount of income replacement benefits.
The process of calculating income replacement benefits is complicated and the amount you are entitled to may depend on the terms of your specific insurance policy. If you have questions regarding the calculation of your income replacement benefits, your lawyer can provide you with a clearer picture of the benefits to which you are entitled.
Skilled Motor Vehicle Accident Lawyers Serving Eastern Ontario and North Bay
A motor vehicle accident is a stressful event that is often made even more stressful due to financial worry and uncertainty. At Tierney Stauffer LLP, we can help you make decisions about what to do following your car accident and ensure you receive your benefit entitlements promptly.
The compassionate personal injury lawyers at Tierney Stauffer LLP are significantly experienced in representing clients injured as a result of an accident, and we work to find the best and most helpful resolution for every client. Call us at 1-888-799-8057 or contact us online to set up a free consultation and discuss your matter with a member of our team.