There has been a new ruling by the Ontario Court of Appeal. Accident victims who return to work after their accident may find it easier to obtain non-earner benefits due to last week’s ruling. On July 24th the Court of Appeal overturned the motions judge’s findings that the plaintiff, Galdamez could not qualify for non-earner benefits because she was working. (Case being discussed: Galdamez v. Allstate Insurance Co. Of Canada)
Following an accident, victims/claimants can either receive income replacement or non-earner benefits. The decision that was made last week assists those whom do not qualify for income replacement but qualify the rigorous tests for non-earner benefits, by having the complete inability to carry on a normal life despite returning to work.
In Galdamez’s situation, she was in a motor vehicle accident in 2002. After her accident she returned to work on modified duties and hours, and she continued to work until 2004.
It states under s.12 of the statutory accident benefits schedule that applied at the time of the accident, a person qualifies for non-earner benefits if he/she suffers a complete inability to carry on a normal life as a result of, and within two years of, the accident and if the person does not quality for an income replacement benefit.
Gluckstein and Associates LLP, Charles Gluckstein was asked to comment on this case, he said, “if you are denied one benefit, it doesn’t preclude you from trying for another.” “It is open to someone who is denied an income benefit to subsequently apply for a non-earner benefit.”
Charles also mentioned that this new decision might not have much impact, as the government tightened up the statutory accident benefits schedule, September 1, 2010. As to those changes, Charles explained, that in s.35 it now requires the applicant to elect either income replacement or non-earner benefits subject to provisions dealing with catastrophic impairment.
It appears that this verdict has opened the door for more discussion on claimants returning to work after an accident and their ability to apply for non-earner benefits. Gluckstein & Associates LLP will continue to keep you updated on all these developments.
- Law Times – Appeal Court Widens door to Non-Earner benefits
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