When people are involved in an accident they often have several avenues to replace the income they were earning before the accident. If you have your own personal disability policy or have coverage through work, then that would probably be the starting point. Coverage under these policies vary from policy to policy, so you should carefully review the complete policy with a lawyer to make sure you know what is available and understand all the provisions of the policy including time limit provisions.
Often disability policies have a waiting period before benefits are paid. Then, to qualify, you must meet the definition of disability under the policy. The most common definition calls for payment of benefits if the person is found to be disabled from their normal occupation for the first 24 months and then only continue to be paid after 24 months if the person is found to be disabled from “any occupation”.
Income replacement benefits are paid under a standard contract of automobile insurance if you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident. An insured person who sustains an impairment as a result of an accident may be entitled to a weekly income replacement benefit if, at the time of the accident, he or she was employed, he or she was not employed but was employed for at least 26 weeks during the 52 weeks before the accident and as a result of and within 2 years of the accident, he or she suffers a substantial inability to perform the essential tasks of the employment.
A weekly income replacement benefit may be payable during the period the insured person suffers a substantial inability to perform the essential tasks of the employment. No benefit is payable during the first week of the disability.
The amount of the weekly income replacement benefit paid for the first 104 weeks of disability is 70% of the injured person’s gross weekly income from employment. After the first 104 weeks of disability, the weekly income replacement benefit is only payable if the insured person suffers a complete inability to engage in any employment for which he or she is reasonably suited by education, training or experience. The amount payable to an injured person for weekly income replacement benefits shall not exceed $400.00 per week unless optional benefits have been purchased.
CPP disability benefits are available from the Federal Government. To be eligible for a CPP disability benefit, a person must satisfy two basic requirements. You must have made valid contributions to the Canada Pension Plan for a minimum qualifying period and you must have a disability (physical or mental) that is “severe” and “prolonged” as defined by the Canada Pension Plan.
For the disability to be considered “severe”, it should render the person incapable of regularly pursuing any substantially gainful occupation. For the disability to be considered “prolonged”, it must be continuous for a long time or indefinite duration or likely to result in death.
There are certain priority rules and set-off provisions between long and short term disability benefits, income replacement benefits and CPP disability benefits. Each set of circumstances are different so it is important to have your situation reviewed with a lawyer who specializes in these types of cases.
Raphael Barristers have been helping clients collect long and short term disability benefits, income replacement benefits and CPP disability benefits for over 50 years. We have offices in Toronto and Thornhill to service all of southern Ontario. Raphael Barristers realizes that at a time when you are unable to work due to injury or illness your financial resources will be compromised. That is why in almost all cases we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means you do not have to pay any money until your case is settled or successfully won at trial. Call Jeffrey Raphael for a free consultation at 416-594-1812 or 1-877-217-1812 or visit us at www.raphaelpersonalinjurylawyers.com.