Has a car accident affected your ability to work?
People are often aware of the medical treatment options available to them when they get into an accident, but did you know you may also be entitled to different employment related benefits if you are unable to work because of a car accident?
Car accidents effect every part of your life, and the financial strain caused by getting into a car accident can quickly become overwhelming. Being unable to go to work, all while trying to balance your physical and mental health can quickly take its toll. Fortunately, benefits are available to you through your own insurance policy, which can help you navigate this difficult time. In this blog, we will explore the benefits that might be available to you through your insurance policy, should a car accident render you unable to work.
Applying for total disability under your insurance policy
One of the benefits you may be entitled to after being in a car accident are total disability benefits. In order to be eligible for this benefit, the law requires certain basic criteria to be met. To apply for this benefit, you would have to be employed the date the accident happened. This can mean one of two things. It can mean you either:
- You were working on the date of the accident; or
- You were working at least 6 of any 12 months in the year before the date of the accident.
Second, you would have to be totally disabled from doing any and every task associated with your position of employment. “Totally disabled” means that you must be unable to participate in any and all of your work-related activities. Your insurance company will not pay disability payments for you to work reduced hours at work, for example. Insurance will also not pay for the first 7 days after the car accident.
Finally, to qualify for these benefits, you would have to be deemed totally disabled within the first 60 days after the accident. Insurance companies will usually require you to submit medical proof of being unable to work. In other words, not working must be doctor’s orders.
How much could you be eligible for?
If you qualify for disability, the amount of money you can be paid under your insurance policy can vary.
According to the law in Alberta, you can be paid up to a maximum of $600 dollars a week or 80% of your income, whichever of these two calculations is less.
What if you have benefits available to you through work?
If you have work benefits available to you such as long term or short-term disability, then this can affect what income benefits you are available for under your insurance policy as well. There are calculations that insurance companies use to determine what you qualify for. Your insurance company will advise you of if and how much you qualify for in conjunction with your long term and short-term disability benefit plans.
It is important to know what benefits are available to you should you become injured in a car accident, and to act quickly to access these benefits, be it through work benefits or your car insurance policy. As there is a time limit to apply for your disability benefits under your insurance, it is important to consult with a doctor and your insurance company regarding your work status as soon as possible.