For Canadians Victimized Abroad:
Canadians who have been the victim of a serious violent crime in a foreign country may be eligible for financial assistance through the Victims Fund. As of April 1, 2007, financial assistance is available to individual Canadians who are victims of specified serious violent crimes in a foreign jurisdiction for serious situations of undue hardship where no other source of financial assistance is available. For more information and to apply click here or call: 1-888-606-5111.
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 in the province/territory where the crime occurred. All Canadian provinces/territories have programs (except for Newfoundland and Nunavut), but it is important to note they vary from each other quite substantially.
Canadian provinces/territories have crime victim compensation/financial assistance programs for victims of violent or interpersonal crimes. The programs are administered by the provinces/territories, 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/territorial 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.