According to Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation, there were approximately 48,000 people injured in car accidents in Ontario in 2014.  Unfortunately, many of these injuries often result in the inability to work for an extended period of time. This loss of income can cause further stress, both financially and emotionally, to the injured person, and their family, and many people aren’t aware of the different types of Income Replacement Benefits which are available.
Benefits Through your Employer
Most companies offer employees a certain number of days each year that they can use if they are sick or injured. Some employers, like the government or large companies, allow you to carry-over unused days from year to year.
Short-Term and Long Term Disability
Most employers offer, as part of their group benefits, long-term disability benefits. Some employers may also offer short-term disability benefits. Short-term disability benefits are for short duration injuries/illnesses and usually pay 100% of your salary or average income. Long-term disability benefits are available after a waiting period (which is detailed in the benefit plan guide for the company) and are generally for injuries that will not resolve quickly. To qualify, the employee must be unable to perform the tasks of their employment.
There are also a number of government benefits available. For those employees without short-term disability benefits, Employment Insurance offers 15 weeks of disability benefits if you were employed at the time of your injury.
The Canada Pension Plan also offers a disability pension to anyone who has a severe and prolonged injury or illness which prevents them from regularly pursuing any substantially gainful employment. In order to qualify for a CPP Disability Pension, the injured person must have made contributions to CPP in 4 of the 6 years before they became disabled and have enough medical evidence to prove they have a severe and prolonged injury or illness. If you qualify for a CPP Disability Pension, the amount received will roll over into a retirement pension when you reach the age of 65, so there will be no gap in your contribution history.
The Ontario government also offers benefits through the Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP). These benefits are available to those who were not working at the time of injury but require financial assistance with their daily expenses. ODSP benefits also include coverage for some medical expenses such as prescriptions and special foods.
If you have any questions regarding the benefits discussed above or for further information on how to apply for them, feel free to contact me directly.
Associate with the Personal Injury and Litigation Group
STAY TUNED: Up next in this series: Top 3 Mistakes Made When Applying for CPP Disability Benefits
Disclaimer: This article is provided as an information resource and is not intended to replace advice from a qualified legal professional and should not be relied upon to make decisions. In all cases, contact your legal professional for advice on any matter referenced in this document before making decisions. Any use of this document does not constitute a lawyer-client relationship