Income Replacement Benefits are benefits meant to provide you with some financial relief if you are unable to work as a result of your injuries from a car accident. The disability may arise as a result of physical, mental or psychological impairments from the accident.
The requirements to receive IRBs
There are several requirements that must be met if you would like to receive income replacement benefits. You must be:
- employed at the time of the accident (including self-employment); or
- worked for 26 or more weeks out of the 52 weeks prior to the accident; or
- receiving Employment Insurance at the time of the accident; or
- not employed but at least 16 years old and excused from attending school at the time of the accident.
What will be the value of the benefit?
The amount of the income replacement benefit that you will receive is 70% of your gross income up to a maximum of $400.00/week. This is assuming you have not purchased optional benefits which may entitle you to more money per week. Keep in mind you will not receive any income replacement benefits for the first 7 days following an accident. This is a rule that’s clearly indicated in the statutory accident benefits schedule to the Insurance Act.
In order to calculate the income replacement benefit the insurance company will require certain documents such as paystubs, tax returns, and bank statements. In the case of self-employed individuals insurance companies will often hire a forensic accountant to calculate the income replacement benefit. If this is the case then you can expect to have to provide further documentation to the accountants.
What you can expect from income replacement benefits
You can further expect to receive income replacement benefits for the first 104 weeks (2 years) if you suffer a substantial inability to perform the essential tasks of your employment. The insurance company may send you for a medical assessment to see if you meet this specific disability test for the income replacement benefit.
After 2 years the test turns to a complete inability to engage in any employment or self-employment for which he or she is reasonably suited by education, training or experience. This is a higher standard. Notice the difference – in the first 2 years you must be unable to do YOUR SPECIFIC job. After 2 years you must not be able to do ANY job.
Getting started with the process
In order to receive the income replacement benefit you must submit an OCF-2 that’s filled out by your employer. If you are self-employed then you can fill it out yourself. You will also need to submit an OCF-3 which indicates that you are unable to work as a result of the car accident. It is important that you complete your initial application for accident benefits (OCF-1) within 30 days of the accident so that you can receive your income replacement benefits as well.