In Alberta, there are many confusions regarding section B benefits Alberta centered on automobile accidents. Many still don’t know what they are entitled to, whether accessing B benefits is considered an insurance claim, etc.
Section B benefits are known as “accident benefits” or “AB benefits.” People injured in automobile accidents should know about section B benefits. So, what exactly are section B benefits?
Basically, it’s an insurance benefit entitled to people who were injured or died in an automobile accident. These benefits are mentioned in Section B of the Alberta Standard Automobile Policy and hence called section B benefits.
What are Section B Benefits?
Section B benefits or accident benefits Alberta are no-fault accident benefits included in every vehicle policy. If someone is involved in an automobile accident, they are eligible for section B benefits regardless of the fault.
That means anyone who was injured can claim section B benefits. It doesn’t depend on if the person was at fault or not for the injuries. If you are driving the vehicle involved in an accident, you can claim these benefits through your insurer.
Similarly, if you are in the passenger seat, the claim goes through the insurer of the driver. Sometimes a person can get injured by a vehicle while passing the road. Then, the pedestrian can claim section B benefits through the vehicle’s insurer.
What if the accident occurred outside of Alberta or if the involved vehicles are not insured in Alberta? If you are a victim and get injured, you may still be eligible for section B benefits.
What is Covered Under Section B Benefits?
Section B benefits cover specific medical benefits, disability, and death expenses. Medical benefits and disability are common claims under section B part of an automobile accident insurance act.
Anyway, section B benefits claims are contractual. It means the automobile insurance policy owner had already paid for the B benefits based on their insurance premiums.
So if the policy owner ever gets injured, he or she will be eligible for section B benefits. Typically, the automobile insurance company will be the source of the section B benefits.
You must notify the insurance company within 30 days of the accident to be eligible for these benefits. Also, you must provide certain forms given by the insurance company within 90 days.
However, section B benefits cover certain medical expenses to treat the injured person. This also provides disability coverage to the person who cannot work because of the injuries.
Here, the purpose is to help the injured person recover quickly without pursuing a personal injury claim.
Nonetheless, medical benefits cover costs for certain types of treatment, including;
- Dental treatment
- Ambulance ride
- Massage therapy
- Psychological treatment
That’s not it; there is more treatment an injured person may require after an automobile accident. So, those also need to be recovered. The treatment provider must approve the benefits to claim for section B medical benefits.
The treatment provider can be anyone, such as a physician, massage therapist, physiotherapist, psychologist, chiropractor, etc. So, the treatment provider must complete a few forms during the treatment period.
Section B Coverage Limit – Medical benefits
Under the section B benefits, a maximum of $50,000 of medical coverage is provided to the injured person. The standard policy offers these benefits for up to 2 years from the accident date.
If three people are injured in the same collision, each person is eligible for $50,000 medical benefits. The vehicle involved in the crash must be an insurer in Alberta. In reality, very few injured people ever reach the $ 50,000.00 limit.
This is partially because the Alberta car insurance laws require an individual to use any personal health insurance benefits. The injured person is entitled to those benefits before a few types of section B coverage.
Also, this is partly true as the insurer has the right to send the injured person to their preferable doctor. So they can determine whether the ongoing treatment is medically essential.
If the doctor believes that the treatment is not required, extra section B benefits will not be accepted. All that means there are limits to the amount offered to specific treatments.
In soft-tissue injuries, the insurer will usually approve 21 primary treatments. Then, they may make you believe that you are only eligible for this. Actually, this is not true. You are entitled to all essential medical treatments.
Disability is considered; if the injured person was employed during the collision for at least 6 months and is now unable to work for more than 7 days. The injured person is not being compensated for the injuries.
Under disability benefits in Alberta, the injured person is entitled to weekly benefits. This benefit covers a maximum of $400/week or 80% of average weekly earnings. The lower one counts.
If the injured person’s personal or work benefit provides disability coverage to that person, it must be claimed first. Then, he will be eligible for applying for disability in Alberta.
In that case, the weekly benefits will be obtained by a formula set by the Alberta car insurance laws. There may be different rules and exceptions based on individual situations.
Qualification Criteria for Section B Disability Benefits
So, how to apply for disability in Alberta? Specific criteria must be met to qualify for section B disability benefits.
- The injury must be from automobile collisions, including car, truck, motorcycle, bus, bicycle, and pedestrian accidents.
- The insurer to be claimed against must have a Section B policy.
- The injured person must be at least 18 years old and must be employed during the accident. Also, the person must have been employed actively for at least 6 of 12 preceding months.
- Also, the person must have been employed actively for at least 6 months out of 12 months before the accident. The employment does not have to be for 6 consecutive months.
- The injured person must refrain from performing all work duties within 60 days from the accident date.
- If the insurer wants, the treatment provider must certify that the injured person is disabled.
- The injured person cannot claim section B disability benefits unless he is completely disabled by the automobile accident. It means the disability is preventing from doing all duties.
- If the injured person is taking disability benefits, the benefits stop once the person gets back to work again.
- The injured person cannot claim section B benefits for the first 7 days of disability. So they cannot get paid for that week.
- Likewise, you can retrieve all the lost earnings through a personal injury claim if the disability benefits do not cover.
Death, Grief Counselling and Funeral Expenses
If anyone died because of an automobile accident, section B benefits would cover some coverages. The first type of coverage is called “death benefit.” The coverage for this benefit varies depending on the age of the dead.
Also, the relation between the person who claims to the deceased is considered. Section B benefits can cover funeral expenses for up to $5000 for each dead person. The grief counseling benefit is up to $400 per family.
1. What are Section B benefits?
As mentioned, section B benefits are no-fault or defect-free accident benefits. These benefits are included in every vehicle insurance policy. You are eligible for section B benefits if you were injured, regardless of the fault.
2. What Section B means?
Section B comes from the Alberta Standard Automobile Policy. These are accident benefits or insurance benefits entitled to an individual who was injured or died in a collision.
3. What is a Section B insurer?
Section B insurer is the insurance company or insurance adjuster whose insured automobile was involved in an accident. The insurer is entitled to any expenses to the injured person.
4. What are accident benefits, Alberta?
These are benefits available to the driver and passenger of an automobile that was involved in an accident in Alberta. The benefits cover expenses for medical treatment, disability, and sometimes death.
5. Are Section B benefits taxable?
No, section B benefits are not taxable.
Indeed, section B benefits Alberta is tricky as well as confusing. Possibly that’s the reason most insurance adjusters misapply and misunderstand the laws every now and then. Section B benefits mostly become unattainable due to some rules and exceptions.
If your section B benefits are denied, don’t worry. You can still recover them through a personal injury claim. We hope you got answers to all your queries. If you have further questions about section B benefits, please contact us.