Spotlight on SABS: Non-Earner 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.  Today’s post is all about non-earner benefits, and you can find links to the other posts in this series at the end of this article.

What are Non-Earner Benefits?

Non-earner benefits are intended to be a source of income to people whose lives have been drastically affected by a motor vehicle accident and who were not earning an income at the time of the crash. Non-earner benefits are provided for in section 12 of the SABS.

Who Can Receive Non-Earner Benefits?

There are two main aspects to the eligibility for non-earner benefits: (1) your non-earning status and (2) your ability to carry on a normal life.

In terms of employment status, at the time of the accident, you must be:

  • Retired or unemployed
  • A full-time student, or
  • Recently graduated (less than a year before the accident) and not yet working in a capacity that reflects your education & training.

Additionally, as a result of the accident, you must have a complete inability to carry on a normal life. This “complete inability” is different from case to case. In the SABS, this inability is explained as “an impairment that continuously prevents the person from engaging in substantially all of the activities in which the person ordinarily engaged before the accident.”

In practice, this means looking at the big picture of your life before and after the collision, and how much your ability to do the things you used to do and were important to you has been affected.

Meeting this criteria can be challenging, and we urge you to consult with an experienced car accident lawyer to advocate on your behalf.

If you are receiving income replacement or caregiver benefits through your auto insurance coverage, you won’t be eligible for non-earner benefits.

How Much Can I Receive in Non-Earner Benefits?

Non-earner benefits are paid weekly, at $185 per week. However, it’s important to understand that those payments can be offset (reduced) if you are receiving other types of income support such as ODSP.

How Long Can I Receive Non-Earner  Benefits?

Non-earner benefits can be paid for up to two years after the accident. There’s a 4-week waiting period before you’ll get your first payment.

This article is part of our series on Ontario no-fault auto insurance benefits. Previous posts cover: