Seeking Compensation When you Have Been Hurt in a Car Accident and are not Employed
Gone are the days when a person spends their entire career at one company. University grads are told to expect to change jobs, even careers, several times before they are 35. Today’s headlines are filled with news of plant closures and company layoffs due to downsizing. A person’s resume may have large gaps where they were underemployed or they chose to become self-employed. Fortunately, current legislation provides access to compensation for anyone whose employment situation defies easy categorization.
In car accident cases, generally income replacement benefits are payable to eligible claimants under the Statutory Accident Benefit Schedule when the victim is substantially disabled and therefore is unable to perform the duties of their previous occupation. After a deemed period of 104 weeks of disability, the claimant must be able to prove they are disabled from performing any occupation they are reasonably suited for in terms of education, training and experience.
Some provisions regarding income replacement benefits, under a number of scenarios, are available under Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule. For accidents that occurred after September 10, 2010, if the injured party was employed at the time of the accident, income replacement benefits are calculated at 70% of gross income, to a maximum of $400 per week.
Under section four of the Ontario Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, you are also eligible for benefits if at the time of the accident the person was unemployed but worked at least 26 weeks out of the previous 52 weeks leading up to the accident, was receiving Employment Insurance benefits or were self-employed.
If a person was self-employed at the time of the accident, and they are unable to work, they may be eligible to receive the weekly maximum of $400. Determining eligibility for a benefit amount requires detailed calculations of income and expenses and usually a review of the books and records of the business, financial statements and Income Tax information.
The non-earner benefit is designed to help individuals who don’t qualify under the income replacement category. There are different scenarios in which people may be eligible to receive benefits when they can no longer lead a normal life as a result of being injured. However, non-earner benefits are not paid out for the first six months of disability and the bar is set very high for a claimant to prove their complete inability to carry on a normal life and therefore be eligible for benefits.
Futerman Partners LLP has over 30 years of experience in successfully handling complex cases involving fair compensation for unemployed, under-employed and self-employed individuals. Call us today for a free initial no-obligation consultation to discuss your case.