Can I Get Accident Benefits If I Was Not Working at Time of Accident?

injured accident victim Being involved in a car accident can be overwhelming. If you were not receiving regular employment wages at the time of the accident and became injured, this can create additional stress. You may be worried about how you will be able to pay for your medical treatment and other accident-related expenses.

Fortunately, you may be eligible for non-earner benefits if you were not working when the accident happened. These benefits are issued under Ontario’s Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS). Non-earner benefits provide weekly payments to certain accident victims who were not earning a regular salary. Our Windsor-based auto accident lawyers discuss these benefits in greater detail below.

If you have been injured in a car accident, we are here to offer legal help. Our firm has helped many accident victims over the years obtain the maximum compensation possible for their injuries. The initial consultation is completely free and confidential. There is zero risk or obligation involved.

Find out if you have a case: (866) 320-4770

Non-Earner Vs. Income Replacement Benefits

Injured accident victims struggling to pay for medical bills and daily living expenses may have the option to pursue income replacement benefits and non-earner benefits. Both of these benefits provide weekly compensation to those injured in motor vehicle accidents in Ontario.

While income replacement benefits and non-earner benefits share some similarities, they are not the same thing. There are key differences between these two types of benefits.

Income replacement benefits may be issued if you cannot return to work after a car accident. Eligibility is based on the extent of the injuries suffered and how much income you have lost from missing work. If you do not qualify for income replacement benefits, you may still be able to get non-earner benefits.

Non-earner benefits may only be issued if you were not working or earning regular wages at the time of the accident. In contrast to income replacement benefits, these benefits pay less, do not fluctuate, and take longer to be paid for by the insurance company.

How Do I Qualify for Non-Earner Benefits?

To qualify for non-earner benefits, you must have sustained a significant impairment. You can no longer carry on a normal life as a result of and within 104 weeks of the accident.

If you meet these initial criteria, you may be issued benefits in one of two scenarios:

  • You were not eligible to receive income replacement benefits
  • You were enrolled full-time as a student when the accident happened, or graduated less than one year before the accident and had not secured employment that reflected your education

It is important to note that accident victims who may not be eligible to receive caregiver benefits may also qualify for non-earner benefits.

How Much in Non-Earner Benefits May I Get?

Non-earner benefits pay $185 per week. However, an insurer is not obligated to pay non-earner benefits for the first four weeks after the onset of your complete inability to carry on a normal life.

These benefits will not be issued for over 104 weeks following the accident. An insurer is also not obligated to pay non-earner benefits unless the accident victim is at least 18 years old.

Factors That Influence Non-Earner Benefits

If your case goes to court (most are settled beforehand), the court will look at multiple factors to determine if you should receive the weekly benefit amount. These factors include whether or not:

  • There is a total lack of ability to have a normal life compared with prior to your injury
  • Your impairment substantially and continuously affects you from doing pre-accident activities
  • The level of pain you are experiencing prevents you from performing normal activities

Claims for non-earner benefits are often very difficult to assess. You may want to consider working with an experienced lawyer who can review your situation and discuss the options available to you.

Injured in an Accident? We Are Here to Help

If you have been injured in a car accident, Greg Monforton & Partners is here to help. We are well-versed in Ontario’s statutory accident benefits and have a proven track record, recovering millions in compensation on our clients’ behalf. We obtained $6.3 million for a victim of a rear-end accident.

Our initial consultations come with no cost, risk or obligation to you. Reach out to our firm anytime, day or night. We only get paid if you get paid.

Call (866) 320-4770 for your free case review.