Section B: 5 Common Questions After a Car Accident

If you’ve recently been in a car accident in Alberta, Canada, you may be wondering what resources are available to help cover medical expenses and recovery costs. One option available to you is Section B benefits, which can help pay for medical treatment, rehabilitation services, and even wage loss.

Section B helps you afford treatment for common injuries, such as neck or back pain.
Understanding what Section B benefits are, who is eligible, and what they cover is an important step in recovering from your accident.

  1. What are Section B Medical Benefits?

    Section B medical benefits are a mandatory part of every car insurance policy in Alberta. Insurers are required by law to include Section B in their policies. In the event of an car accident, Section B provides medical benefits automatically to those injured. The intention is that regardless of fault for the accident, you will be able to receive treatment for your injuries to try and recover. Similarly, if an accident leaves you unable to work, Section B disability benefit will assist with a payment cover some of your lost wages.

    Section B medical benefits provide coverage for medical expenses, including physiotherapy, massage therapy, prescription drugs, dental treatment, psychological treatment, and more. It is not unlimited, as discussed below, however it is intended to help ease the financial burden of recovery from injuries sustained in a car accident for the two years after the accident.

  2. Who is Eligible for Section B Benefits?

    Anyone injured in a car accident in Alberta is entitled to Section B benefits. In a complex or unique accident it can be difficult to determine which insurer will provide the benefit, however the intention is that anyone suffering from injuries after a car accident will be able to seek (and afford) treatment.

    In most situations, your insurer provides access to Section B benefits to both yourself, and any of your passengers. It may also provide coverage to other parties involved, such as pedestrians, who were injured. If your accident involved another vehicle, the driver (and passengers) of that vehicle would seek the benefit from their own insurer – not yours.

    As a pedestrian, if you were hit by a vehicle without insurance, or if the accident is a hit and run, then you may need to claim Section B benefits through the government. This is also true if you were in an uninsured vehicle as a passenger. If you have questions, please feel free to give us a call and we would be happy to help you determine who to claim the benefits from so you can begin recovering.

  3. What Do Section B Medical Benefits Cover?

    Section B medical benefits cover a wide range of medical expenses associated with your recovery after a car accident. This can include:
    • Medical Treatment: The benefits cover necessary medical treatments, including visits to doctors, specialists, physiotherapists, chiropractors, and other healthcare professionals. This coverage is broken down into two parts:
      • In-Protocol: You will receive between 10-21 treatments with a professional (such as a physiotherapist or chiropractor) of your choice for treatment. These typically must be used within 90 days from the date of the accident.
      • Out-of-Protocol: Insurers are required to provide additional treatment after the treatments above are used. The total amount of benefits you may claim is $50,000, however insurers may deny coverage for certain treatments (such as chiropractic care) after covering the mandatory minimum amount required. For example, currently:
        • Chiropractic coverage may be denied after $1,000.00;
        • Massage therapy may be denied after $300.00;
        • Physiotherapy coverage may not be denied unless insurers receive an outside medical opinion stating it is medically unnecessary. Therefore it is possible that you may receive coverage for up to two full years of physiotherapy.
      • If you have questions about whether your treatment should still be covered, or alternative ways to afford treatment, please don’t hesitate to call or text – we would be happy to help.
    • Prescription Medication: The cost of prescribed medications related to your accident-related injuries is typically covered.
    • Rehabilitation Services: If you require rehabilitation services such as occupational therapy or psychological counseling, Section B benefits can help cover these expenses.
    • Diagnostic Services: While usually covered by AHS, if there is an urgent need for private diagnostic testing, such as X-rays or MRIs, necessary to assess and treat your injuries, they may be covered by Section B. Alternatively, we may be able to assist you in recovering your treatment.
    • Medical Supplies: The cost of essential medical supplies like crutches, braces, or mobility aids may be covered under Section B benefits. Within reason, any item that is deemed medically necessary by your treatment providers may be covered. This can include pillows, a new mattress, or more.

      Medical Supplies: The cost of essential medical supplies like crutches, braces, or mobility aids may be covered under Section B benefits. Within reason, any item that is deemed medically necessary by your treatment providers may be covered. This can include pillows, a new mattress, or more.

  4. What Do Section B disability Benefits Cover?

    In addition, Section B disability benefits may provide a portion of your income if you are unable to work while recovering from your injuries. Your doctor or treatment provider will need to confirm that you cannot work, however after that you may receive up to $600 a week in disability coverage as well as an additional $200 in housekeeping coverage.

    While it is often a substantial income drop (as you receive a maximum of $2,600.00 a month), claiming this disability benefit is still helpful to mitigate some of the impact the accident has on your life. Financial stress is one of the most common concerns amongst our clients, with many struggling to adapt to the sudden impact an accident has on their income.

    You may be able to receive income from other sources depending on your circumstances. These include Employment Insurance, or Short Term Disability benefits.

  5. How Do You Apply for Section B Medical Benefits?

    If you’ve been injured in a car accident and think you may be eligible for Section B medical benefits, your first step should be to contact your insurance provider. They will be able to guide you through the process of making a claim for benefits. This may include recommending treatment providers, however you are entitled to go to a provider of your choice. Keep that in mind before accepting treatment at a location far from your home or work.

    The insurer will need a number of forms filled in by you. The Alberta government provides public copies of all the forms that they will request here:

    https://www.alberta.ca/insurance-forms.aspx

    You can speed up the process by having these forms ready for the insurers and treatment providers as soon as they need them. The specific forms that are most commonly needed are:

Whether you’ve been injured in a minor fender-bender or a more serious accident, understanding your options for medical coverage and recovery is crucial to your well-being and to helping you achieve fair compensation after an accident. Section B benefits are just one of the resources available to help you get back on your feet after a car accident. If you think you may be eligible for Section B medical benefits, don’t hesitate to reach out to your insurance provider and start the process of putting your recovery plan into action.

If you are unsure of whether you are eligible, who to claim them from, or anything else – please send us a text or give us a call at 825-413-4414. We would be more than happy to assist you with any questions you may have.