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Hurt in Car? Ontario Accident Benefits Changes: Attendant Care

When you are hurt in a motor vehicle accident in Ontario, some accident benefits available to you potentially is attendant care benefits, which is a monthly payment to assist you with you daily activities while you are hurt. This may include getting ready in the morning, preparing your meals, etc.

There were big changes (i.e. reductions in attendant care benefits payable) in September 2010, including the limitation as to who could provide you with attendant care and be paid for their service. If your attendant caregiver was not previously employed in the business of providing attendant care (i.e. a personal support worker – PSW, general practitioner nurse, registered nurse – RN, etc), then that person had to suffer an ‘economic loss’ in order to qualify to receive payment of those attendant care benefits.

In other words, if you were hurt, then your spouse or adult son or grandparent or friend, who was not formally qualified and never had been previously employed to take care of people, could not qualify for the potential $3,000/month attendant care payments.

Naturally, the term ‘economic loss’ has been challenged and its definition has been explored by the plaintiff’s’ Bar.

Well, now the government has acceded to the further lobbying of the insurance companies and has restricted the ability of people who are not formally qualified to care for others (i.e. PSW, RN etc as above) to be paid attendant care benefits.

Now, the caregiver can only be paid up to the amount that they would have earned in their ordinary occupation if they were not caring for the injured person. So, if your spouse earned $2,000/month at their job before your accident, s/he would be unable to collect more than $2,000/month in attendance care benefits (i.e. even if you are seriously hurt and are assessed as requiring $3,000/month or more of attendant care help).

This is yet another step towards downsizing Ontario’s accident benefits made available to motor vehicle accident victims.

Gregory Chang
Toronto Personal Injury and Insurance Lawyer