Application for ICBC Wage Loss Benefits Dismissed For 7 Days of Disability
The BC Civil Resolution Tribunal published reasons for judgment earlier this month dismissing an application for ICBC wage replacement benefits following 5 days of disability from a vehicle collision.
In the recent case (Cruz v. ICBC) the self represented applicant was injured in a December, 2019 collision. His injuries caused him to miss 7 days of work. He applied for ICBC to cover his wage loss under their no-fault benefits but they refused arguing he was not disabled enough days to qualify for benefits. The CRT agreed and dismissed the applicant’s claim. In doing so Tribunal Member Kristen Gardner provided the following reasons:
12. Section 80(1) of the IVR says that an employed person injured in an accident, who is totally disabled from engaging in his employment, is eligible for income replacement benefits for the duration of the total disability, subject to section 85 of the IVR. Section 85 says that no income replacement benefits are payable under section 80 unless the person is disabled for a period of more than 7 days, and that income replacement benefit payments are not payable for the first 7 days of the injury.
15. For the reasons that follow, I find Mr. Cruz has not proven he is entitled to income replacement benefits. First, a December 23, 2019 medical report from Mr. Cruz’s family doctor was filed in evidence. In the report, Mr. Cruz’s doctor stated that Mr. Cruz was unable to perform all his regular work duties and his disability was anticipated to end 2 weeks later, on January 6, 2020. However, the letter from Mr. Cruz’s employer confirms he returned to work on January 4, 2020.
16. Further, the January 2, 2020 chiropractic initial report in evidence suggests that Mr. Cruz was assessed to be capable of working with some modified duties as of that date. I find there is no evidence before me that Mr. Cruz’s total disability from working extended beyond his last day off work on December 29, 2019.
17. Therefore, I find the evidence shows that Mr. Cruz was totally disabled from working only between December 23 and 29, 2019, which is a total of 7 days. Given his disability did not last more than 7 days, as required by section 85 of the IVR, I find Mr. Cruz is not entitled to income replacement benefits.
18. However, even if I had found Mr. Cruz’s disability lasted longer than 7 days, I would not have awarded income replacement benefits for this claimed time off work. That is because Mr. Cruz was already compensated for his time off due to the accident as a past wage loss award in dispute VI-2020-003508. To also award Mr. Cruz income replacement benefits would have resulted in double recovery for the same loss.