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Amendments to Ontario’s SABS come into effect on February 1, 2014

Veronica S. Marson
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On February 1, 2014, additional changes will take place to Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) which will impact auto accident victims.

Ontario Regulation 347/13 affects the amount of attendant care payable to accident victims, the treatment of pre-existing conditions, and the election of income replacement benefits, non-earner benefits or caregiver benefits.

Attendant Care

Under the new changes, family members and friends who provide attendant care services to accident victims will only be paid for the actual money they lose from a job as a result of providing that care.

As such, the regulation reverses the Court of Appeal’s decision in Henry v. Gore, which previously forced insurance companies to pay the full amount assessed on the Assessment of Attendant Care Needs (Form 1) as long as some form of economic loss was proven.

Pre-Existing Conditions

Prior to February 1, 2014, accident victims were able to get out of the $3,500.00 cap on rehabilitative treatment under the Minor Injury Guideline (MIG) if a health practitioner determined and provided evidence that they had a pre-existing medical condition preventing them from achieving maximal recovery.

However, the new changes now require the pre-existing condition to have been documented by a health practitioner before the accident.

This means that auto accident victims who didn’t have a doctor or failed to see one before an accident will be unable to get out of the MIG, even if a doctor confirms that their health condition existed beforehand.

Election of Income Replacement, Non-Earner or Caregiver Benefits

Under the new changes, an auto accident victim’s election of income replacement benefits, non-earner benefits, or caregiver benefits is final regardless of any change in circumstances.

Previously, victims were allowed to re-elect caregiver benefits within 30 days of being deemed to have suffered a catastrophic impairment.

These changes strongly favour the auto insurance industry and serve to continue eroding the rights of auto accident victims in Ontario.

A full copy of the SABS is available at e-laws.

DOWNLOAD THE SINGER KWINTER GUIDE TO SABS

The content of this article or blog posting is of a general nature and does not constitute legal advice. It is not intended to be a full or complete analysis of the topic. Before applying the concepts or any content of this article or blog it is imperative that you consult your legal advisor.

Neither the author of this article or Singer Kwinter can accept any responsibility for financial loss nor gain of any nature should the reader not take advice from their legal advisor.

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