Am I Entitled to Medical and Wage Loss Benefits?

When you are harmed in a personal injury accident in British Columbia, you may be entitled to receive certain benefits. These are intended to offer financial assistance during the course of your recovery. There are different types of benefits available, with the most common being medical and wage loss benefits.

Medical benefits are there to cover the cost of reasonable and necessary medical treatment, including medication and occupational therapy. Wage loss benefits are there to recover the income you have lost as a result of your injuries.

Who is entitled to medical and wage loss benefits?

But who exactly is eligible to receive medical and/or wage loss benefits? This is a difficult question to answer, as it really comes down to the nature of your accident, the extent of your injuries, and in certain situations, who was at fault for the incident.

The majority of claims arise as a result of motor vehicle accidents. In such cases, it might surprise you to learn that anyone with a valid ICBC policy is eligible to receive benefits, known collectively as ‘Part 7 benefits’. Even if you are to blame for the incident, you can still obtain financial support. This is because British Columbia has a ‘no fault’ system.

However, there are other insurers out there. WorkSafeBC, for example, is the statutory agency that deals with work accidents in British Columbia. Each organization has their own rules and criteria, so your ability to claim benefits will largely depend on the way in which you sustained your injuries.

Generally speaking, the insurer will want to establish that you have no other means to cover your medical expenses or loss of income, such as employment insurance. They will also want to verify that your injuries necessitate medical treatment and are hindering your ability to work. You may, therefore, need to attend a medical assessment or provide a letter from your doctor.

Claiming personal injury support

Whatever the circumstances, if you would like to claim medical and wage loss benefits, you need to be prepared for a certain amount of red tape and negotiation.

For instance, you must first establish that you qualify for benefits. Your claim might be rejected if you have other types of insurance, such as work-related insurance, private insurance or employment insurance. Or it might fail on the basis of insufficient medical evidence or even incorrect paperwork.

Secondly, you must file a claim within the specified time frame, which will vary according to the organization.

Thirdly, just because you request financial support does not necessarily mean that it will be awarded. You may be offered a reduced sum, or you may be offered benefits for a limited amount of time, after which they may be ended.

Dealing with all this can be traumatic, particularly at a time when you will be nursing physical (and possibly even psychological) injuries. Not being able to return to work and/or having to pay for your medical expenses will add to the stress, and no doubt you will just want to secure some financial support before your resources run dry.

Expert legal help

That is why a lot of people ask a personal injury lawyer to act on their behalf. A personal injury lawyer can tell you precisely what benefits you are entitled to receive, can file the necessary paperwork, and can negotiate on your behalf. This is the best way to ensure you receive the benefits you so desperately need.

A personal injury lawyer can also advise if you are able to pursue a claim for compensation. This may be possible if you were injured as a result of another person’s negligence. If so, you could be entitled to receive additional compensation, over and above your medical and wage loss benefits.

To find out more about claiming Part 7 benefits and personal injury compensation,  contact us at John Mickelson Law Corporation or call us at 604 684 0040.

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