My mama said, “you can’t hurry love
No, you’ll just have to wait”
She said, “love don’t come easy
But it’s a game of give and take”
You can’t hurry love
No, you’ll just have to wait
Just trust in a good time
No matter how long it takes
Phil Collins, circa 1982, “You Can’t Hurry Love”
Adjudicator Letourneau has held that the LAT does not have jurisdiction to award interim benefits in 18-007113 v Allstate Insurance-007113/AABS, 2019 CanLII 63379 (ON LAT). This follows on the decision of his colleague Adjudicator Hines, in 17-007152 v State Farm Insurance, 2018 CanLII 141015 (ON LAT), who similarly found that LAT lacked the jurisdiction to award interim benefits.
There is now what appears to be a growing body of LAT caselaw confirming that LAT will not award interim benefits.
In the most recent case, there was a lag of over year between the date of the application for accident benefits and the in-person hearing on the issue of attendant care. In that period, the applicant claimed to have incurred more than $18,000 in attendant care. The applicant argued that this financial burden created a risk that he would not be able to receive adequate care before the LAT hearing on the issue of attendant care benefits. The Applicant wanted an order awarding him attendant care benefits until such time as the issue was decided before the LAT.
FSCO made interim awards of benefits all the time, the applicant complained, why can’t the LAT do the same? After all, the SPPA (Statutory Powers Procedure Act) allows for interim orders and the LAT Act says the LAT tribunal has all the powers necessary to carry out its duties. Shouldn’t that be enough to empower the LAT to grant interim orders for benefits?
In response, the LAT adjudicator noted that the Tribunal’s powers to make orders with a view to resolving the applicant’s dispute are limited to what is provided for in the Insurance Act and the SABS. Section 280(4) of the Insurance Act states specifically that, “the dispute shall be resolved in accordance with the Statutory Accident Benefits Schedule”.
The LAT Adjudicator further pointed out that there have been specific changes to the Insurance Act in recent years that clearly show the legislator’s intention to restrain the Tribunal’s jurisdiction. Section 280(6) of the Insurance Act was amended to say that “regulations [under the insurance act] may provide for interim orders to pay amounts to which a party is entitled under the SABS”. Interim benefits are not amounts that a party is entitled to under the SABS, the adjudicator concluded. This omission amounts to be a clear intention to bar the LAT tribunal from reading in power to grant interim orders for benefits.
In its past two decisions regarding orders for interim benefits, at least two LAT adjudicators are harmonizing the edict in the old standby karaoke favorite that you can’t hurry love.
See T. K. vs. Allstate Insurance, 2019 ONLAT 18-007113/AABS (CanLII)