In provinces/territories where compensation/financial assistance programs exist (all except Newfoundland and Nunavut), victims and survivors of violent crime such as homicide, sexual assault, domestic violence, assault and child sexual abuse and neglect (sometimes impaired driving) may be eligible for financial compensation/benefits for the crime that was perpetrated against them.
Most Canadian provinces have crime victim compensation/financial assistance programs to provide financial compensation to victims of violent or personal crimes. The programs are administered by the provinces, according to their own rules and standards. They were created to acknowledge the harm done to innocent victims and to help ease the financial burden that often accompanies victimization. The compensation/financial assistance program is seen as the payer of last resort, therefore all other coverage must be exhausted prior to claims for compensation.
This page provides general information about provincial programs; however some programs may offer more services and benefits than those listed here. It is important to note that the compensation/financial assistance programs vary greatly from province to province. More specific information can be obtained in chart form following. Please consult individual programs for more specific information about your situation.
Report to Police: Generally within 1 year, (2 years for some provinces) and many exceptions are made.
Filing Period: Generally within 1 year, (2 years for some provinces) and many exceptions are made.
While each province determines it’s own criteria for compensation, it is generally accepted that the injury or death must have resulted from:
- the commission of a violent crime constituting an offence as prescribed by the Criminal Code;
- lawfully arresting or attempting to arrest an offender or suspected offender, or assisting a peace officer in executing his or her duties;
- preventing or attempting to prevent the commission of an offence or suspected offence; and
- that the victimization must have occurred in the province of application.
- victims of violent crime (including visitors to Canada)
- dependents of homicide victims
A claimant may obtain an application by contacting the program within the province in which the crime occurred. The application, once completed, should be sent directly to the program office. Decisions are generally made between 1 and 5 years after an application is made. Compensation/financial benefits will be paid to the claimant in approximately 4 to 20 weeks following a hearing.
Benefits & Award Limits:
The maximums for benefits and awards vary by province. The provincial maximums range between $2,000 for counselling and $365,000 lifetime periodic payments with individual maximums within some categories of award (i.e. funeral expenses have a set maximum in some provinces).
(Note: Not all of the expenses listed below may be compensable in your province. For instance, victims in Manitoba, BC and Saskatchewan are not eligible for pain and suffering awards.)
- Medical expenses (i.e. prescription fees, ambulance rides, dental work)
- Mental health/counselling expenses
- Pain and suffering
- Support for a child born as a result of a sexual assault
- Lost wages for incapacitated or disabled victims
- Lost support for dependents of victims
- Funeral expenses
- Rehabilitation for disabled victims
- Expenses to obtain documents
- Expenses to attend hearings
- Services to replace work in the home previously performed by the victim
- Property loss/damage
- Protective measures and relocation expenses
Expedited compensation is offered for aged or terminally ill victims.
Each of the provincial programs are funded through either consolidated revenue of the province, surcharge revenue, general tax revenue, or a combination of these.
Victims of Crime Financial Benefits Program
10th Floor, J.E. Brownlee Building
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 3W7
Tel: (780) 427-7217
Fax: (780) 422-4213
Toll free (in Alberta): 310-0000, ask for (780) 427-7217
Legislation: Victims of Crime Act
The Crime Victim Assistance Program
P.O. Box 5550, Station Terminal
Vancouver, British Columbia V6B 1H1
Tel: (604) 660-3888
Toll free (in BC): 1-866-660-3888
Legislation: Crime Victim Assistance Act
Compensation for Victims of Crime Program
1410 – 405 Broadway
Winnipeg, MB R3C 3L6
Tel: (204) 945-0899
Fax: (204) 948-3071
Toll free: 1-800-262-9344
Legislation: The Victims’ Bill of Rights (Part 5)
Newfoundland & Labrador
Victim Services does not provide financial compensation to victims. The Criminal Injuries Compensation Program was terminated in 1993.
Victims Of Crime Emergency Fund
Department of Justice
Government of the Northwest Territories
4903 49th St
PO Box 1320
Yellowknife, NT X1A 2L9
Criminal Injuries Counselling Program
5151 Terminal Road, 4th floor
P.O. Box 7
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J 2L6
Tel: (902) 424-4651
Fax: (902) 424-2056
Toll Free: 1-888-470-0773
Legislation: The Compensation for Victims of Crime Act
*The Criminal Injuries Compensation program in Nova Scotia does not provide monetary compensation for lost wages, medical/dental expenses, and funeral services to persons harmed as a result of violent crime. The program only provides counseling for victims.
– do not offer crimes compensation
Criminal Injuries Compensation Board
439 University Avenue, 4th Floor
Toronto, Ontario M5G 1Y8
Toll Free: 1-800-372-7463
Legislation: Victims’ Bill of Rights, 1995
IVAC – Direction l’indemnisation des victimes d’actes criminels
1199 rue Bleury, 9ième étage
P. O. Box 6056
Montreal, Quebec H3C 4E1
Toll free, in Canada only: 1 800 561-4822
Montréal area: 514 906-3019
Fax: 514 906-3029
Legislation: Crime Victims Compensation Act
6th Floor, 1874 Scarth Street
Regina, SK S4P 3V7
Tel: (306) 787-3500
Fax: (306) 787-0081
Legislation: The Victims of Crime Regulations, 1997
Victims of Crime Emergency Fund (VCEF)
Dept. of Justice, Government of Yukon
Whitehorse, Yukon Y1A 2C6
Phone: (867) 667-8500
Toll free (In Yukon): 1-800-661-0408, local 8500
Fax: (867) 393-6240
VCEF Eligibility and Fact Sheet