Past Wage Loss Claim

ICBC can deduct several different wage replacements benefits you have received over time to further reduce the amount of past wage loss owing

Before settling your ICBC claim, you need to consider the amount of your past wage loss claim.  The gross loss of wages you suffer is not the amount of compensation you will receive through ICBC.

To start with, ICBC is only required to pay you the net amount of your wage loss after factoring in your income tax obligations if you had made the income as well as your Employment Insurance premiums you saved by not making the income.

ICBC can deduct several different wage replacements benefits you have received over time to further reduce the amount of past wage loss owing. To start, they can deduct any temporary total disability benefits paid under Part VII. For accidents after May 17, 2018, you need to fully pursue all income replacement sources such as private insurance plans, Employment Insurance, CPP and Government disability programs. The reason being, ICBC can deduct income replacement benefits paid or payable from the tort claim. That is, ICBC can deduct payments you received as well as payments that you should have received if you had taken all the necessary steps to receive the income replacement benefits.

If the accident occurred before May 17, 2018, ICBC had very limited ability to deduct any of these income replacement benefits.

The next argument ICBC may raise is that you were off work for longer than you should have been.  While making this argument, ICBC will ignore medical evidence supporting your disability even if they do not have their own medical evidence to support their argument. Unsupported positions taken by ICBC like this one will often force individuals to seek out legal representation.

Another argument from ICBC is they will only pay past wage loss based on reported income only. However, if you have unreported income, you can still make a claim that you lost income because of the accident. The law is clear that so long as you can prove the amount of the loss you are still entitled to it, even though it did not form part of your reported income on your tax return.  Therefore, do not allow ICBC to ignore this part of your past wage loss claim especially if you have clear proof that you lost the opportunity after the accident to continue to receive this unreported income. The proof should be in the form of documents or statements from client/employer(s).

In addition, ICBC often argues that past wage loss should be based on the net income of the business if you are a business owner or entrepreneur. This is not the case at all because everyone knows that individuals are able to write off quasi-personal expenditures to lower tax implications. ICBC should not have the advantage of your tax saving endeavors and should pay the true loss.

Finally, when it helps them, ICBC will rely on past earnings and ignore the prospect of pay raises or promotions. However, a promotion or pay raise that you would have received, but for the accident, should be factored into the past wage loss claim.