Oftentimes, accident victims end up with serious and catastrophic injuries that require long term medical aid and treatment. Some of these victims might be disabled for life. They require monetary assistance which is often provided by auto insurance policy and sometimes, they become eligible to receive accident benefits as per the Ontario Disability Support Program.
Government has recently made changes such that ODSP will assist those who have been injured and are receiving financial assistance due to the lawsuit settlement of a vehicle insurance claim. The government sponsored income support offers health and living expenses as is considered as the last resort for those disabled with no income.
Before 2017, car accident victims had to choose from taking ODSP benefits or the compensation stemming from the insurance claim. This is because all the monies that the accident victim received was considered as assets, as per the laws and regulations in Ontario. However, after the changes were brought in, the ODSP cover was not withdrawn and the accident victims could bring in a lawsuit to claim for injuries, mental and physical pain and suffering, due to the accident. They were eligible to seek damages for the medication and hospitalization and future surgeries, if needed. The laws that changed ensures that this was exempt from the ODSP coverage, which has helped innumerable people over the past couple of years.
However, there are some categories of payments which are still considered to be termed as assets or income for those under the ODSP eligibility criteria:
• Non-earner benefits
• Award of punitive damage
• Income replacement benefit
• Loss of income
Whether it is on an ongoing basis or paid out as lump-sum, it can have a detrimental effect on the ODSP entitlement. It is also stated that is you are on ODSP and use any of the funds from these sources (above mentioned) to buy an asset, then there is a probability that the asset may not be exempted. But if the money is used to buy a non-exempt item using the money you gained in the settlement but is not exempted under ODSP, it shall be added to the asset limit.
However, if these funds are used for home improvement of the accident victim who is disabled or used for any improvement of the vehicle or health enhancements, the asset will be exempt and will not affect the ODSP payments.
Thus, the changes in the policy have ensured that the residents of Ontario that are receiving the accident benefits have the flexibility to utilize the accident benefits they have received. It always help to seek the assistance of a personal injury lawyer in Burlington.