Spotlight on SABS: Caregiver Benefits

This is the latest in our series on what benefits you’re entitled to through your auto insurance if you’re injured in a car accident in Ontario. See our previous posts on the basics of SABSmedical & rehab benefits and attendant care benefits.

Today, we’re talking about caregiver benefits.

What are Caregiver Benefits?

If you’re the primary and unpaid caregiver for dependents that live with you (for instance, your young children or an elderly or disabled parent or relative) and your car accident injuries mean that you can no longer manage those duties, caregiver benefits help with the expense of hiring someone to do those duties. 

Be careful not to confuse caregiver benefits with attendant care benefits. Attendant care benefits cover the costs of caring for the injured person. Caregiver benefits cover the cost of replacing the caregiving duties the injured person can no longer perform.

Who Can Receive Caregiver Benefits?

Unfortunately, not everyone who is injured in a car accident has access to caregiver benefits. They are only available in two circumstances:

  1. If your injuries are deemed to be catastrophic
  2. If you purchased the optional caregiver, housekeeping and home maintenance benefit that makes it available to all injuries

One important thing to note: if you are receiving the caregiver benefit, you are ineligible for the income replacement benefit or non-earner benefit. 

How Much Does the Caregiver Benefit Pay?

The caregiver benefit pays $250 per week for the first person in need of care and $50 per week for each additional person in need of care.

How Long Can I Receive Caregiver Benefits?

You can receive the benefit for two years (104 weeks) after the accident. After that point, in order to continue receiving the benefits, you need to have a complete inability to carry on a normal life. That inability is defined in the SABS s. 3(7) in this way:

“a person suffers a complete inability to carry on a normal life as a result of an accident if, as a result of the accident, the person sustains an impairment that continuously prevents the person from engaging in substantially all of the activities in which the person ordinarily engaged before the accident;”

Next in our series: housekeeping and home maintenance benefits.