Changes to the No-Fault or Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule

There are three changes to the no-fault or Statutory Accident Benefits law that came into force on February 1, 2014.

The first change concerns eligibility for attendant care benefits. The change in the law reverses the Court of Appeal decision in Henry v. Gore. In that case, the court held that for a family member to be eligible for attendant care payments, that family member need only establish that there was an economic loss. Under the new law, the amount of attendant care shall not be greater than the amount of the economic loss sustained.

This would mean that if a family member missed a day at work in order to care for a family member, they would only be entitled to reimbursement of the amount of lost income. The result of this amendment is that many family members will not be able to afford to care for their injured loved ones and professional providers will be required. Unfortunately the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule provides caps on the amount of attendant care money payable. This means there will be insufficient funds to pay for professional providers.

The second change concerns the Minor Injuries Guideline (MIG). In the past, if someone had a preexisting condition that complicated their recovery, they may be entitled to medical and rehab expenses in excess of the maximum $3,500.00 payable under the Minor Injuries Guideline. With the change in the law, you can only access these additional funds if there is compelling evidence of a preexisting condition that was documented by a health care practitioner before the motor vehicle accident.

The third change concerns the election of type of disability payments. Depending on one’s circumstances, you can access either non-earner disability benefits, caregiver disability benefits or income replacement benefits. Under the new law, once you elect which benefits you want to receive, the election is final. There is only one exception: 30 days after someone has been declared CAT they can re-elect.