How To Apply For Part VII Benefits
There is a significant difference between what the law requires of an application for Part VII benefits and what most ICBC adjusters want to see happen.
The law requires that ICBC be given notice of the claim for benefits promptly after an accident. Section 97 of the Regulations requires that, within 30 days of the accident, written notice be given providing “particulars” of the accident circumstances and the “consequences” (the injuries or death) of the accident. If the notice is given later than 30 days, there is usually no issue unless the delay has harmed ICBC in some way. Usually ICBC is notified of an accident immediately by one of the motorists involved in the accident anyways but it is still a very good idea to report early to ICBC.
ICBC has developed a form called an “Accident Benefits Application Form” (CL-22), which is generally used to provide the required information of the accident and of the injury or death. The required notice does not have to be given by the injured person. It can be filled out by someone else, especially if the injuries are severe and the injured party is not able to meet the reporting requirements.
What ICBC generally asks for is:
- A signed statement covering all of the accident circumstances, and
- Signed authorizations to obtain medical and wage loss information.
The signed statement is intended almost totally to assist ICBC in defending a personal injury or death claim. The statement is not needed or intended to determine whether a person is entitled to Part VII benefits. For example, it does not matter in a Part VII claim if a person was or was not wearing a seatbelt because Part VII is paid regardless of fault. However, ICBC likes to canvass that topic in the signed statement. Similarly, other evidence in the statement that deals solely with fault for the accident has no relevance in a Part VII claim but ICBC likes to get that information.
In summary, it is neither necessary nor a good idea to provide ICBC with a detailed signed statement to obtain Part VII benefits.
The medical authorizations and the wage/employment authorizations are again intended more for use by ICBC in defending an injury or death claim than in determining if a person is entitled to Part VII benefits.
While ICBC is entitled to information on the injuries suffered and the income lost, it is neither necessary nor a good idea to sign the blanket medical and wage/employment authorizations which give ICBC unlimited access to all information.
Usually, a brief report is required from one of the treating doctors to confirm that a person is unable to work. The injured person is always entitled to a copy of this form from ICBC or their doctor.