Since the Government of Ontario introduced changes to motor vehicle accident compensation a year ago, rehabilitation therapists, other clinicians and injured victims are struggling to cope.
Amendments to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule and the reluctance of insurance companies to approve assessments and much needed treatments have served to increase the upset accident victims and their families face.
The rate of denial for treatment plans is now three times higher than what it was before the September 2010 changes. Injured victims are often unable to secure the help that they need to rehabilitate properly and to address their family duties. Expenses associated with hiring help to perform household chores and to provide care to children and aging parents are no longer covered under the new standard benefit structure. Further, clashes with insurance companies over claims are not only increasing in frequency, but it is also taking longer to dispute denials with insurers as a result of a backlog in completing mediations at the Financial Services Commission of Ontario.
Unfortunately more changes are coming. The Government is expected to release new amendments to the law that will redefine catastrophic impairment. This change will further reduce the number of people who will have access to enhanced benefits under this definition.
Many groups have already made submissions of protest to the Financial Services Commission, but much more action is needed to prevent further detrimental changes from occurring.
Carranza LLP is an experienced personal injury law firm with a competent and successful accident benefits team. We truly believe that injured victims need an advocate now more than ever to navigate through this complex benefit structure.
We are also members of the Ontario Trial Lawyers Association. Through this organization, we are planning a publicity campaign to help persuade the Government that it is both premature and ill-advised to proceed with the recommended changes to redefine catastrophic impairment.
Please contact your local MPP to let them know your concerns. For a list of MPPs, visit www.ontla.on.ca and click on the Members (MPPs) link.