Posts Tagged ‘ICBC payments’

Sources of Money While Unable to Work

First Steps

It’s frustrating when you can’t work. There’s the stress of no income coming in, things not getting done at work and your job being at risk. What to do?

First you need to speak to your practitioner – doctor, chiropractor, physiotherapist, massage therapist or other treaters – as to whether or not you should be working.

It may be obvious to you that you can’t work, but most people who have suffered an injury may feel the pain, but they often don’t show it- You may look fine. For this reason it’s best to have some validation to provide to your employer and your insurer.

You should get a note from your practitioner. The note should include a few things.  The note should expressly state that you cannot work.  The practitioner should be specific as to what you cannot do. i.e., “I understand Mr. Doe is a lawyer and he is injured such that he cannot work at this time”.

The note should have a date your practitioner will review your condition to see if you can work again and the likely return date. Most employers and ICBC want a date you can return to work. The problem is no one knows for certain when you will be better. As such it is best not to get a commitment from a practitioner of the date you can return to work. If you are still not able to fully function, then you may feel pressed to return even though you are not ready to do so. This can harm you in many ways.

There could be an estimation of how long you will be off work.  · I.e. “with injuries like the type Mr. Doe sustained, it is usual for someone to recover in eight weeks. As such, I will be reviewing Mr. Doe’s function on [date seven weeks away] to assess his recovery and ensure he is capable of returning to work.

The note should state the likely cause of you not being able to work.  · This is more for the insurer than your employer. The cause of your injury and inability to function properly has to be confirmed for the insurer for both the assessment of your claim, and the payment of some benefits.  If the reason you cannot work is not related to the collision, then you are may not be entitled to benefits.

If the collision is the only cause of the injury, it is useful for the practitioner to say “it appears the only cause of the injury preventing Mr. Doe from working is the MVA that occurred on [date].

Employment Insurance Benefits

I always recommend people apply for sick benefits under Employment Insurance (EI). If you do not qualify, it is best to get written confirmation, even if it means applying and getting turned down. The reason for this is it gives proof to your insurer that you do not qualify for benefits.

You are not applying for regular EI benefits, but sick benefits.  DO NOT APPLY FOR REGULAR EI BENEFITS UNLESS YOU ARE CAPABLE OF WORKING. If you apply for regular benefits, you need to claim that you are capable of working. If you’re not you would be lying. Not only is this a fraud on ICBC, but also it could impact your credibility when making your claim.


Under the insurance policy of the vehicle you were in when driving, or the vehicle that caused the injury, you are likely entitled to payment of benefit.

These benefits are set out in under Part 7 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation

The two main requirements for receiving these benefits are:

  • You must have been employed for 26 weeks of 52 weeks prior to the collision, and
  • You are totally disable because of the collision

Before you can collect such benefits, you must use up all other benefits available such as sick benefits from EI, WorkSafe or WCB benefits, benefits from any disability insurance policies, and it may include banked sick time from your employer.

Disability Plans – Through Work or Private

If you have a disability plan through work you should review it to see if you can make a claim. There are usually two different types of benefits: Short Term Benefits (sometimes called Weekly Indemnity Benefits) and Long Term Benefits (LTDs)

Short term benefits often start right away. Sometimes you are required to use up sick time and EI benefits.

Just because you can’t work, doesn’t mean you get money from these benefits. It is a contract of insurance that sets out when you get paid. Sometimes the wording is really clear, other times it can be very confusing.

Long Term Benefits usually start in three to six months and last for Two Years in the occupation you were working in just prior to the injury, then after that, for any occupation you are reasonably suited due to education, training and experience.

Insurance claims are a complex area and further consultation may be necessary if your coverage is denied.

If you are denied coverage and think you might be entitled to coverage, you should demand a copy of the policy or benefit booklet.

Disability Plans – Government

Benefits are often available through the Canada Pension Plan and provincial social assistance programs.


If your injury is work related, you may need to make a WCB claim. This can be a complex area and you may have a choice of going through WCB or claiming through a motor vehicle insurer such as ICBC. Prior to making a decision as to which way to go you should seek the advice of a lawyer.

Injury Loans

This should be a last resort. If you are looking for an injury loan, you should check the terms very carefully. Very often the interest is over 55% per year.

If you borrow one thousand dollars and your case settles two years later for $4,000, you will have to pay the lender the $1,000 lent, plus at least an additional $2,400 as there is interest on the interest. As such if you get $4,000 in settlement, after paying the loan, you could end up with less than $1,600.