BC Court of Appeal – ICBC Disability Benefits Can Be Revived Beyond 104 Week Mark
In late 2014 the BC Supreme Court rules that ICBC wage loss benefits can be ‘revived’ if a collision related injury which was initially disabling retriggers disability beyond the 104 week mark. ICBC appealed but in reasons for judgement released today the BC Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s reasoning.
In today’s case (Symons v. ICBC) the Plaintiff was involved in a serious collision in 2008. She was rendered initially disabled and ICBC paid her TTD benefits until her ‘creditably stoic and determined‘ return tow work later that year. The Plaintiff’s return was short lived as progressive symptoms eventually led to a series of surgeries and her symptoms continued to disable her at the time of trial.
The Plaintiff applied for disability benefits under s. 86 of the Insurance (Vehicle) Regulation but ICBC denied these arguing that unless TTD’s were being actively paid at the 104 week mark (a period when this plaintiff was back at work) that the legislation does not allow the ongoing payment of disability benefits. At trial Mr. Justice Baird ordered ICBC to reinstate the benefits. ICBC appealed but the trial judgment was upheld. In finding ICBC wage loss benefits can be revived the BC Court of Appeal provided the following reasons:
 ICBC argues that that was a case where the plaintiff was already entitled to s. 86 benefits when they were stopped, and then reinstated. I think this cuts too fine a line. Brewer says a person receiving s. 80 benefits can be reinstated if he later becomes disabled from the original injury and Halbauer says a person receiving s. 86 benefits is entitled to have them reinstated if he or she is subsequently disabled because of the original injury. In my view, if the sections are read, as ICBC suggests, to mean that only a person who is disabled “at” the 104-week mark can obtain benefits after that period, that interpretation does not accord with the context and object of the legislation, nor within the reasoning of Halbauer.
 Reading the words of this legislative scheme in its entire context, harmoniously with the whole of the scheme and purpose, leads to the conclusion that if a person who was disabled as a result of an accident returns to work, and then, because of setbacks or otherwise, is again totally disabled due to the accident, she qualifies for benefits under s. 86, even if she was not disabled on the “magic” day at the end of 104 weeks. This interpretation is consistent with the object of the Act—to provide no-fault benefits for persons injured in motor vehicle accidents.
 In my opinion, the decisions in Rashella and Andrews have been overtaken by Halbauer and Charlton.
 Thus, the trial judge did not err in his conclusion that Ms. Symons was entitled to be reinstated for disability benefits under s. 86.
 I would dismiss the appeal.