A Guide to the upcoming Changes to the SABS

Auto insurance throughout Ontario Province will see some major changes and revisions to the no-fault or Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) as of June 1st, 2016.  So if you live in the cities of Brampton, Burlington, or Mississauga, these changes will apply to you.  On August 31st of last year, it was announced that the newly revised SABS will apply to every motorist in the Province when they renew their auto insurance policy after the implementation date of June 1st.

So what does this mean for driver’s throughout the Province and how will they be affected by these revisions? It’s safe to say that these changes and revisions benefit the insurance companies more than those who need these benefits.  Thus, if you have been injured and were receiving these benefits, it might affect your life and treatment. Consequently, it puts additional pressure on the insured to ensure that they have ample coverage.  Here are the more important changes to be aware of.

First and foremost, the benefits afforded by the SABS will be drastically reduced with one of the more severe cuts being to the non-earner benefit.  Non-earners were originally awarded this benefit after a 6-month wait but could continue receiving it provided they could demonstrate an ongoing inability to live a normal life.  Although the waiting period was reduced to 4 weeks, recipients will only be paid this benefit for a maximum of 24 months.

Secondly, statutory accident benefits for attendant, medical, and rehabilitative care have been reduced as well.  If you were injured in an accident and your injuries are classified as non-catastrophic, those three care benefits are combined into one single benefit of no more than $65,000.  Originally, individuals received up to $50,000 for medical and rehabilitative care plus up to $36,000 for attendant care.  So the maximum benefit for all three has been reduced from $86,000 to $65,000 – a total of $21,000!

Furthermore, the maximum time period for receiving these benefits has been cut by 50% from 10 years to 5.  For catastrophically injured individuals, the total attendant, medical, and rehabilitative care benefits was divided into 2 separate funds of $1 million each (a total of $2 million).  With the current changes to the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule, the total has been reduced by 50% to $1 million payable in a single combined benefit.  For individuals who truly need these benefits, there is a great deal of concern.

There is also a second optional medical and rehabilitative care benefit of $100,000 and a $72,000 attendant care benefit (also optional).  Both of these have been combined into a single benefit that pays a maximum of $130,000 (a $42,000 reduction).  Basically, insurance companies are going to have more control over the SABS and the benefit amounts that get paid out.  More importantly, they will have additional power when it comes to denying necessary products and services whereas your healthcare provider can approve them under the current system without insurance companies interfering.

We proudly serve the residents in the Mississauga, Brampton and Burlington areas. If you want a personal injury lawyer that represents your best interests, we’d love to review your case and give a free consultation. Contact us today!

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