While ICBC can deduct Canada Pension Plan disability benefits from an UMP Claim, can the same be done for additional “Children’s Benefits” paid by the CPP? Arbitrator Yule addressed this question in an UMP Arbitration Decision that was recently provided to me. In short Arbitrator Yule held that Children’s Benefits are non-deductible.
In the unpublished decision (H v. ICBC) the Plaintiff was awarded damages following a jury trial. The Plaintiff applied for payment under his own UMP Coverage as the at-fault motorist was underinsured. While the parties largely agreed on the deductibility of past CPP benefits from ICBC’s payment obligations, they could not agree on whether the additional CPP funds the Plaintiff received as “Children’s Benefits” were deductible. In finding that they were not Arbitrator Yule provided the following reasons:
37. In one sense it may well be thought that it must be a “benefit” to the Claimant to receive money (which must be paid to him in these circumstances) under a statutory scheme (the CPP) which imposes no constraint on his use of the monies. On the other hand, it seems to me the underlying rationale for the payment of the disabled cobtributor’s child’s benefit is the expectation that the money will be used by the recipient in a general way in the partial discharge of the recipient’s legal duty to support and maintain the children who are entitled to the benefits. In this sense, I think the benefit or right is that of the child and not of the parent or custodial person. It is significant that the benefits payable under Division A of Part II of the CPP, one is described as “a disability pension” (what the Claimant receives on account of his own disability) and another – the benefit at issue – is described as “a disabled contributor’s child’s benefit” [emphasis added]. It is difficult to transform what the statutory CPP scheme describes as “a child’s benefit” into the parent’s/custodial person’s benefit for the purpose of s. 148.1(1)(i). At least here where the monies are payable under another statutory scheme, I think “benefit: or “right” in s. (f.2) should be guided by the description of the benefitin the statory scheme, and where the statutory scheme itself defines the benefit as the child’s beneift, it shoudl be considered to be the child’s benefit. This interpretation also maintains consistency with the construction of ss. (f.2) where I have concluded that the entitlement to the child’s benefit is that of the child.
38. Accordingly I conclude that the children’s benefits paid to the Claimant are not deductible from his UMP Compensation.
Like many UMP Cases, This decision is not publicly available but, as always, I’m happy to provide a copy to anyone who contacts me and requests one.