If you have been injured in a car accident in Ontario you are covered under the Insurance Act's Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule, which specifies the accident benefits to which you are entitled and when they apply.
Income Replacement Benefit
Under the Income Replacement benefit, you will receive a payment every two weeks equal to 70% of the gross income you earned before the accident to a maximum of $400/week. The first seven days will not be covered. They will deduct any income replacement assistance that you may receive from any other sources such as a workplace long term disability policy. This will continue as long as you qualify. After 104 weeks, your minimum weekly benefit will be $185.
When you purchase your car insurance policy, you would have had the opportunity to purchase additional income replacement coverage from your insurance company. It may pay up to $1000 per week in additional income replacement.
How Do You Know How Much You Will Receive?
If you are employed at the time of your accident, your insurance benefit will be based on your gross income for the 52 weeks prior to the accident. Alternatively, it will be based on the four weeks prior to the accident, whichever gives you the higher benefit.
If you are self-employed, your income will be based on the previous 52 weeks or the total income earned in the previous fiscal year.
If you are unemployed at the time of the accident but worked 26 weeks of the 52 weeks before the accident, your benefits are based on income earned in the last 52 weeks including EI benefit earnings.
If you are over the age of 65, you may earn benefits for up to 208 weeks and they are gradually reduced over that period. If you have your 65th birthday while collecting the Income Replacement Benefit, the benefit is changed to a lifetime pension at a reduced rate.
If you do not qualify for the Income Replacement Benefit or if you were a full-time student or had completed your education but had not found work in your field, the following rules will apply.
The first 26 weeks are not covered and you must be 16 years or older to qualify. After 6 months, you would qualify for a weekly payment of $185 minus any other amounts from other sources. If you were a student at the time of the accident your income under the benefit will rise to $320 per week after you have qualified for non-earner benefits for two years.
If you require a caregiver to look after children or disabled adults whom you looked after before the accident, there are limited additional benefits to cover the cost of this including $250 per week for the first dependent and $50 per week for each additional dependent.
Death & Funeral Benefits
If your spouse was killed in a car accident, you may be eligible for $25,000 for death and funeral benefit. There is also a $10,000 payment to dependents and a $6,000 maximum for funeral expenses.
Let's ask the lawyers at Dietrichlaw how they would answer the question of how much you will receive after an accident if you were self employed when it occurred:
This can be a complicated process. Usually your insurer retains an accounting firm to calculate the benefit and it may take them quite a while and involve you producing a lot of financial documents before they are satisfied enough to determine the amount and report to the insurer. After that, often there are mistakes made or recalculations based upon how your business operates and who you hire to replace you while you are unable to work. We would carefully review the report, and if necessary, we would hire an accountant to respond to that report.
Remember that you may also be entitled to additional benefits. Call a local law firm such as Dietrichlaw to make sure that you get the compensation that you need and deserve while you recover from your injuries. While you are injured and recovering, your family may need additional support and a lawyer can help to get them what they need. Do not wait. Your first meeting is free. Let them help you get the compensation you deserve.