Section B Benefits: The Lifetime Benefit You Never Knew You Had

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Section B Benefits: The Lifetime Benefit You Never Knew You Had

Section B insurance benefits are available if you were injured in a car accident, regardless of who is at fault. If you are unable to return to work because of your injuries, you are eligible to receive a weekly income replacement, called an indemnity. This indemnity, or benefit, is available through the insurance on the vehicle that you were in.

Section B VS Long-term Disability

Section B benefits are more sympathetic to the financial needs of injured parties than Long-Term Disability benefits, which normally are available through employment benefits and terminate upon reaching retirement age (65). 

It is a little-known fact that Section B weekly indemnity benefits may be a lifetime benefit.

Value of the benefit

The value of this wage loss benefit is the lesser of 80% of your weekly pre-accident income, or $250 per week. If you continue to be unable to return to your pre-injury job because of your injuries, you should be entitled to receive this wage loss benefit for a maximum of 103 weeks. 

104-Week Mark

At the 104-week mark from the date of the accident, the benefit changes. From that point forward, in order for you to receive the wage loss benefit, your injuries must prevent you from doing any work for which you are reasonably suited (i.e. a job that you are qualified to do and that pays a similar amount compared to your pre-accident job).

Terminated, but…

For many people, the 104-week mark is the end of the road and the weekly indemnity benefit is terminated by the insurer.

But should it be? 

It is possible that you could still be legally entitled to benefits, despite being terminated. If your injuries have left you permanently disabled from any suitable employment, you may be eligible for wage loss benefits for the remainder of your life – i.e. until death.   

If your injuries were serious and leave you unable to do things that were required in your former work, like heavy lifting, sometimes the insurer will obtain a report to evaluate your ability to work (ex. a Transferable Skills Analysis or Functional Capacity Assessment). Although those reports may conclude that you have the ability to return to your pre-injury occupation or alternate work, it is important to understand that there is a level of interpretation applied to such assessments, which means that different assessors can draw different conclusions.

WHEN IN DOUBT, SEEK LEGAL ADVICE

Although an insurer may terminate a benefit (either before or after the 103rd week), in some cases, there may be an argument that the benefit should continue. If you believe that your injuries from the car accident prevent you from returning to your own or other suitable employment, it is important to seek legal advice. Although the weekly benefit may seem small, if you are eligible on a life-time basis, the value of the benefit could be significant.

At MacGillivray Injury and Insurance Law, we have helped many people across Atlantic Canada who have had their insurance benefits wrongly terminated or denied. We have the skills and the experience to fight against insurance companies and secure the compensation our clients deserve.  

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident and are unable to work due to your injuries, contact us today for a free consultation.