If you have already read “Applying for Non-ICBC Benefits”, some of this article may be repetitive. There are three common sources of non-ICBC benefits (Worksafe/WCB benefits have their own section):
- Private insurance
- EI Sickness benefits
- CPP disability
Private Insurance Benefits
Private insurance often provides wage replacement and reimburses medical expenses. If you have private insurance, you must exhaust it before claiming ICBC benefits. However, your ICBC settlement should include all amounts paid by your private insurer. Some private insurers require you to repay them out of your settlement. They will often refer to this as ‘subrogation’, which is your insurer’s right to recover benefits paid to you from the party that caused your injuries. Even if there is no requirement to repay, you are entitled to recover those benefits in your ICBC claim.
Employment Insurance (EI) Sickness Benefits
You can claim EI sickness benefits if you worked enough hours in the 12 months prior to the car accident, usually 600 hours. You must have a doctor fill out a form declaring that you are incapable of performing the duties of your regular employment or of other suitable employment. If you are receiving regular EI benefits at the time of the accident, you should notify Service Canada of your accident, as you may be required to switch to sickness benefits for the time that you are disabled.
CPP Disability Benefits
Canada Pension Plan disability benefits are available if you are under 65 and you have paid into CPP 4 of the last 6 years. There is a minimum amount that you must pay each year, the “basic exemption”, which varies according to your income. You also must show that you have “a severe and prolonged mental or physical disability.” Your injury must preclude you from working any job similar to your pre-accident job, and it must be expected that you will be unable to work at any such job for the foreseeable future.
You may qualify for social assistance benefits and/or fair pharmacare which pays some or all of your medication costs. While social assistance is usually only available for people who make less than a certain amount, fair pharmacare is available for all BC families, but does not subsidize your medication expenses until they exceed 3% of your family income (unless your family income is below $30,000).
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