Archive for August 2013
Michael Smitiuch, Principal Lawyer at Smitiuch Injury Law Professional Corporation, is pleased to announce the opening of our office in London, Ontario. This is in addition to our offices in Toronto and Brantford.
Our London office is located at 380 Wellington Street, Tower B, 6th Floor, London, Ontario N6A 5B5. Our London telephone number is 519-964-2747.
A recent decision by the Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has clarified that an insurer cannot penalize an accident benefits claimant for not attending an insurer’s examination in certain circumstances.
In the decision Kelly Quinones and Unifund Assurance Company [FSCO A12-000866] Kelly Quinones wished to dispute Unifund Assurance’s stoppage of her attendant care and housekeeping and home maintenance benefits. Unifund argued that Ms. Quinones was prohibited from proceeding to arbitration pursuant to Section 55(2) of the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule (SABS) because she had failed to attend the scheduled insurer’s examinations.
Ms. Quinones’ accident benefits insurer, Unifund Assurance, sent out a notice to her that she was required to attend insurer’s examinations for the purpose of determining her entitlement to attendant care and housekeeping and home maintenance benefits.
In this particular case Unifund did not specify who the assessor would be in their notice and referred to the profession as “OT”. Arbitrator Maggy Murray noted that “OT” is not a regulated health profession. It was clarified that “OT” was an abbreviation for “Occupational Therapist”, which is a regulated health profession. However, Arbitrator Murray noted that,
Insurers must “explicitly and unambiguously advise” insureds in “straightforward and clear language, directed towards an unsophisticated person,” the information set out in s.44(5) of the Schedule. An unsophisticated person may not know what an “OT” is.
Smitiuch Injury Law is pleased to host its annual seminar, entitled “Accident Benefits: Practical Issues for Health Care Professionals.” It will be held on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at the Brantford Golf and Country Club.
The keynote topic at this year’s seminar will be on “Living With and Caring for an ABI Survivor – A Mother’s Perspective”. Bernie Perry, the mother of an acquired brain injury survivor, will identify the struggles and successes she has experienced in her daughter’s recovery and rehabilitation. Bernie will be accompanied by her case manager, Jody Abbot and Dr. Diana Velikonja, a clinical neuropsychologist at Storrie, Velikonja and Associates in Burlington.
The afternoon will also provide an update on the latest news and case law in Ontario Accident Benefits, followed by an open forum with an expert panel to answer participant’s questions. The expert panel will be composed of Ms. Heather Driver (Financial Services Commission), Tamara Forbes (Forbes Health Management), Anna-Marie Musson (Miller Thomson) and Chris Jackson (Smitiuch Injury Law).
The afternoon will begin with registration and lunch at 11:30 a.m. and will end with a cocktail reception and social at approximately 3:30 p.m.
This event is 100% complimentary.
If you wish to attend please RSVP no later than September 18, 2013 by calling 519-754-1558 or by email to [email protected].
A copy of the invitation can be accessed by clicking here.
The Financial Services Commission of Ontario (FSCO) has released an updated Professional Services Guideline for 2013.
According to the FSCO website, “The hourly rates are unchanged from the 2012 level. This is in line with the auto insurance rate reduction strategy outlined in the government’s 2013 Spring Budget.” It has also added a category for kinesiologists, who are now regulated health professionals in Ontario.
A copy of the 2013 Professional Services Guideline is available by clicking here.