What Are Non-ICBC Disability Benefits?
The term non-ICBC disability benefits got used in British Columbia prior to May 17, 2018. It referred to disability payments that had not come from ICBC. Prior to May 17, 2018, ICBC’s policy prevented the deduction of disability benefits, if a claimant had paid for part or all of a premium for disability plan that was offered by a private company.
Why would ICBC need to deduct such benefits?
When considering the settlement on a claim, it was necessary to determine how much a claimant should receive in the way of disability benefits. Someone that had received disability payments from a private insurance would not need all of the benefits that could be offered, as part of ICBC’s package. Still, those other payments/benefits were not considered at the time of the settlement.
Was there any other source of non-ICBC disability benefits?
Yes, some drivers in British Columbia had access to disability benefits from their employer, if they became disabled. Yet ICBC could not deduct the recovered payment, when considering the size of a settlement, before May 17, 2018.
Why was that situation of concern to personal injury lawyers in British Columbia?
Private insurance companies that had paid benefits to a policy holder wanted to be reimbursed for those payments, after that same policy holder had received money from ICBC. Because the non-ICBC disability payments could not be deducted from the amount offered by the Province’s insurance company, the accident victim got more money than he or she expected.
Consequently, some companies asked their policy holders to sign a reimbursement agreement. Unfortunately, some of those agreements demanded the repayment of all the disability payment received from ICBC. Yet the policy holder did not really own all of that same payment. In order to address that fact, some of the residents of British Columbia that got asked to sign the reimbursement agreements decided to hire a personal injury attorney. That attorney’s role became less important after May 17, 2018.
What is the situation now?
Now ICBC does deduct the disability benefits from other insurers, before calculating the size of a settlement for a given claim. Once those have been deducted, the claimant can recover only the balance of ICBC’s benefit, what remains after the payment from the private company, or from the employer. In other words, no residents of British Columbia ever recover more money than what has been promised to them, should they become disabled. Hence, none of them must worry about being asked to pay back more than they have recovered. ICBC’s readiness to deduct the additional disability benefits eliminated one of the concerns of ICBC Lawyers in Vancouver. It also brought an end to usage of the term non-ICBC disability benefits.